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Magnetic and structural properties of the solid solution CuAl2(1−x)Ga2xO4...

by Thomas J Bullard, Michael A Susner, Keith M Taddei, J Brant, T. Haungan
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Scientific Reports
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CuAl2O4 is a ternary oxide spinel with Cu2+ ions (s=1/2) primarily populating the A-site diamond sublattice. The compound is reported to display evidence of spin glass behavior but possess a non-frozen magnetic ground state below the transition temperature. On the other hand, the spinel CuGa2O4 displays spin glass behavior at ~ 2.5 K with Cu2+ ions more readily tending to the B-site pyrochlore sublattice. Therefore, we investigate the magnetic and structural properties of the solid solution CuAl2(1-x)Ga2xO4 examining the evolution of the magnetic behavior as Al3+ is replaced with a much larger Ga3+ ion. Our results show that the Cu2+ ions tend to migrate from tetrahedral to octahedral sites as the Ga3+ ion concentration increases, resulting in a concomitant change in the glassy magnetic properties of the solution. Results indicate glassy behavior for much of the solution with a general trend towards decreasing magnetic frustration as the Cu2+ ion shifts to the B-site. However, the x=0.1 and 0.2 members of the system do not show glassy behavior down to our measurement limit (1.9 K) suggesting a delayed spin glass transition. We suggest that these two members are additional candidates for investigation to access highly frustrated exotic quantum states.