Thursday, December 27, 2012

1212.5954 (Y. Crespo et al.)

Competing Antiferromagnetic and Spin-Glass Phases in a Hollandite

Y. Crespo, A. Andreanov, N. Seriani
We introduce a simple lattice model with Ising spins to explain recent experimental results on spin freezing in a hollandite-type structure. We argue that geometrical frustration of the lattice in combination with nearest-neighbour antiferromagnetic (AFM) interactions is responsible for the appearance of a spin-glass phase in presence of disorder. We investigate this system numerically using parallel tempering. The model reproduces the magnetic behaviour of oxides with hollandite structure, such as $\alpha-\text{MnO}_2$ and presents a rich phenomenology: in absence of disorder three types of ground states are possible, depending on the relative strength of the interactions, namely AFM ordered and two different disordered, macroscopically degenerate families of ground states. Remarkably, for sets of AFM couplings having an AFM ground state in the clean system, there exists a critical value of the disorder for which the ground state is replaced by a spin-glass phase while maintaining all couplings AFM. To the best of our knowledge this is the only existing model that presents this kind of transition with short-range AFM interactions. We argue that this model could be useful to understand the relation between AFM coupling, disorder and the appearance of a spin-glass phase.
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