Alexandria Digital Research Library

Coupling between crystal structure and magnetism in transition-metal oxides

Barton, Phillip Thomas
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Materials
Degree Supervisor:
Ram Seshadri
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Physics, Condensed Matter and Engineering, Materials Science
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014

Transition-metal oxides exhibit a fascinating array of phenomena ranging from superconductivity to negative thermal expansion to catalysis. This dissertation focuses on magnetism, which is integral to engineering applications such as data storage, electric motors/generators, and transformers. The investigative approach follows structure-property relationships from materials science and draws on intuition from solid-state chemistry. The interplay between crystal structure and magnetic properties is studied experimentally in order to enhance the understanding of magnetostructural coupling mechanisms and provide insight into avenues for tuning behavior. A combination of diffraction and physical property measurements were used to study structural and magnetic phase transitions as a function of chemical composition, temperature, and magnetic field. The systems examined are of importance in Li-ion battery electrochemistry, condensed-matter physics, solid-state chemistry, and p-type transparent conducting oxides. The materials were prepared by solid-state reaction of powder reagents at high temperatures for periods lasting tens of hours.

The first project discussed is of a solid solution between NiO, a correlated insulator, and LiNiO2, a layered battery cathode. Despite the deceptive structural and compositional simplicity of this system, a complete understanding of its complex magnetic properties has remained elusive. This study shows that nanoscale domains of chemical order form at intermediate compositions, creating interfaces between antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism that give rise to magnetic exchange bias. A simple model of the magnetism is presented along with a comprehensive phase diagram.

The second set of investigations focus on the Ge-Co-O system where the spin-orbit coupling of Co(II) plays a significant role. GeCo2O 4 is reported to exhibit unusual magnetic behavior that arises from Ising spin in its spinel crystal structure. Studies by variable-temperature synchrotron X-ray diffraction reveal a magnetostructural transition and capacitance measurements show evidence for magnetodielectric behavior. The above work uncovered a Co10Ge3O16 phase that had a known structure but whose physical properties were largely uncharacterized. This project examined its metamagnetic properties using detailed magnetometry experiments. Upon the application of a magnetic field, this material goes through a first-order phase transition from a noncollinear antiferromagnet to an unknown ferrimagnetic state.

Lastly, this thesis explored the chemical dilution of magnetism in some perovskite and delafossite solid solutions. In the perovskite structure, compositions intermediate to the endmembers SrRuO3, a ferromagnetic metal, and LaRhO3, a diamagnetic semiconductor, were investigated. While the magnetism of this system is poised between localized and itinerant behavior, a compositionally-driven metal to insulator transition, revealed by electrical resistivity measurements, did not strongly impact the magnetic properties. Instead, both octahedral tilting and magnetic dilution had strong effects, and comparison of this characterization to Sr1-- x CaxRuO3 reinforces the important role of structural distortions in determining magnetic ground state. The final materials studied were of composition CuAl1-- xCrxO2 (0 < x < 1) in the delafossite structure. The primary interest was the geometric frustration of antiferromagnetism in CuCrO 2 and significant short-range correlations were observed above TN. The analysis found that reducing the number of degenerate states through Al substitution did not enhance magnetic ordering because of the weakening of magnetic exchange.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (197 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Phillip Barton
Access: This item is restricted to on-campus access only. Please check our FAQs or contact UCSB Library staff if you need additional assistance.