Synthesis and Characterization of Two Spin-glass Phases of FeMo₄Ge₃

Peter J. Baker
Peter D. Battle
Stephen J. Blundell
Fernande Grandjean, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Tom Lancaster
Gary J. Long, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Sophie E. Oldham
Timothy J. Prior

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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.