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High-Field Magnetoelectric and Spin-Phonon Coupling in Multiferroic (NH4)2[FeCl5·(H2O)]...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Inorganic Chemistry
Publication Date
Page Numbers
3434 to 3442

We combine high field polarization, magneto-infrared spectroscopy, and lattice dynamics calculations with prior magnetization to explore the properties of (NH4)2[FeCl5·(H2O)]─a type II molecular multiferroic in which the mixing between charge, structure, and magnetism is controlled by intermolecular hydrogen and halogen bonds. Electric polarization is sensitive to the series of field-induced spin reorientations, increasing linearly with the field and reaching a maximum before collapsing to zero across the quasi-collinear to collinear-sinusoidal reorientation due to the restoration of inversion symmetry. Magnetoelectric coupling is on the order of 1.2 ps/m for the P∥c, H∥c configuration between 5 and 25 T at 1.5 K. In this range, the coupling takes place via an orbital hybridization mechanism. Other forms of mixing are active in (NH4)2[FeCl5·(H2O)] as well. Magneto-infrared spectroscopy reveals that all of the vibrational modes below 600 cm–1 are sensitive to the field-induced transition to the fully saturated magnetic state at 30 T. We analyze these local lattice distortions and use frequency shifts to extract spin-phonon coupling constants for the Fe–O stretch, Fe–OH2 rock, and NH4+ libration. Inspection also reveals subtle symmetry breaking of the ammonium counterions across the ferroelectric transition. The coexistence of such varied mixing processes in a platform with intermolecular hydrogen- and halogen-bonding opens the door to greater understanding of multiferroics and magnetoelectrics governed by through-space interactions.