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Images of a First‐Order Spin‐Reorientation Phase Transition in a Metallic Kagome Ferromagnet

Heritage, K; Bryant, B; Fenner, LA; Wills, AS; Aeppli, G; Soh, Y-A; (2020) Images of a First‐Order Spin‐Reorientation Phase Transition in a Metallic Kagome Ferromagnet. Advanced Functional Materials , 30 (36) , Article 1909163. 10.1002/adfm.201909163. Green open access

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Abstract

First‐order phase transitions, where one phase replaces another by virtue of a simple crossing of free energies, are best known between solids, liquids, and vapors, but they also occur in a wide range of other contexts, including even elemental magnets. The key challenges are to establish whether a phase transition is indeed first order, and then to determine how the new phase emerges because this will determine thermodynamic and electronic properties. Here it is shown that both challenges are met for the spin reorientation transition in the topological metallic ferromagnet Fe3Sn2. The magnetometry and variable temperature magnetic force microscopy experiments reveal that, analogous to the liquid–gas transition in the temperature–pressure plane, this transition is centered on a first‐order line terminating in a critical end point in the field‐temperature plane. The nucleation and growth associated with the transition is directly imaged, indicating that the new phase emerges at the most convoluted magnetic domain walls for the high temperature phase and then moves to self‐organize at the domain centers of the high temperature phase. The dense domain patterns and phase coexistence imply a complex inhomogenous electronic structure, which can yield anomalous contributions to the electrical conductivity.

Type: Article
Title: Images of a First‐Order Spin‐Reorientation Phase Transition in a Metallic Kagome Ferromagnet
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201909163
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201909163
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: first‐order phase transition; magnetic domains; magnetic force microscopy; magnetometry; spin reorientation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112246
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