Frustration model and spin excitations in the helimagnet FeP

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The metallic compound FeP belongs to the class of materials that feature a complex noncollinear spin order driven by magnetic frustration. While its double-helix magnetic structure with a period ?s˜5c, where c is the lattice constant, was previously well determined, the relevant spin-spin interactions that lead to that ground state remain unknown. By performing extensive inelastic neutron scattering measurements, we obtained the spin-excitation spectra in a large part of the momentum-energy space. The spectra show that the magnons are gapped with a gap energy of ~5meV. Despite the 3D crystal structure, the magnon modes display strongly anisotropic dispersions, revealing a quasi-one-dimensional character of the magnetic interactions in FeP. The physics of the material, however, is not determined by the dominating exchange, which is ferromagnetic. Instead, the weaker two-dimensional antiferromagnetic interactions between the rigid ferromagnetic spin chains drive the magnetic frustration. Using linear spin-wave theory, we were able to construct an effective Heisenberg Hamiltonian with an anisotropy term capable of reproducing the observed spectra. This enabled us to quantify the exchange interactions in FeP and determine the mechanism of its magnetic frustration.


Original languageEnglish
Article number134424
Pages (from-to)134424-1-134424-13
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022

External IDs

WOS 000800833800004
unpaywall 10.1103/physrevb.105.134424


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