Monday, April 1, 2013

1303.7240 (T. Lin et al.)

Non-monotonic residual entropy in diluted spin ice: a comparison between
Monte Carlo simulations of diluted dipolar spin ice models and experimental

T. Lin, X. Ke, M. Thesberg, P. Schiffer, R. G. Melko, M. J. P. Gingras
Spin ice materials, such as Dy2Ti2O7 and Ho2Ti2O7, have been the subject of much interest for over the past fifteen years. Their low temperature strongly correlated state can be mapped onto the proton disordered state of common water ice and, consequently, spin ices display the same low temperature residual Pauling entropy as water ice. Interestingly, it was found in a previous study [X. Ke {\it et. al.} Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 99}, 137203 (2007)] that, upon dilution of the magnetic rare-earth ions (Dy^{3+} and Ho^{3+}) by non-magnetic Yttrium (Y^{3+}) ions, the residual entropy depends {\it non-monotonically} on the concentration of Y^{3+} ions. In the present work, we report results from Monte Carlo simulations of site-diluted microscopic dipolar spin ice models (DSIM) that account quantitatively for the experimental specific heat measurements, and thus also for the residual entropy, as a function of dilution, for both Dy2Ti2O7 and Ho2Ti2O7. The main features of the dilution physics displayed by the magnetic specific heat data are quantitatively captured by the diluted DSIM up to, and including, 85% of the magnetic ions diluted (x=1.7). The previously reported departures in the residual entropy between Dy2Ti2O7 versus Ho2Ti2O7, as well as with a site-dilution variant of Pauling's approximation, are thus rationalized through the site-diluted DSIM. For 90% (x=1.8) and 95% (x=1.9) of the magnetic ions diluted, we find a significant discrepancy between the experimental and Monte Carlo specific heat results. We discuss some possible reasons for this disagreement.
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