Synthesis and Characterization of Two Spin-glass Phases of FeMo₄Ge₃
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Polycrystalline samples of FeMo4Ge3 have been synthesized by the reduction of an oxide mixture at 1248 K and characterized by a combination of diffraction, muon spin relaxation (µ+SR), Mössbauer spectroscopy, magnetometry, transport, and heat-capacity measurements. The compound adopts a tetragonal W5Si3 structure (space group I4/mcm); the iron and molybdenum atoms are disordered over two crystallographic sites, 16k and either 4a or 4b. The synthesis conditions determine which fourfold site is selected; occupation of either leads to the presence of one-dimensional chains of transition metals in the structure. In both cases, the electrical resistivity below 200 K is ~175 µOmega cm. The dc magnetization rapidly rises below 35 K (Fe/Mo on 16k and 4b sites) or 16 K (16k and 4a sites), and a magnetization of 1µB or 0.8µB per Fe atom is observed in 4 T at 2 K. The ac susceptibility and the heat capacity both suggest that these are glasslike magnetic transitions, although the transition shows a more complex temperature dependence (with two maxima in chi[double-prime]) when the 4b sites are partially occupied by iron. No long-range magnetic order is thought to be present at 5 K in either structural form; this has been proven by neutron diffraction and µ+SR for the case when Fe and Mo occupy the 16k and 4b sites.