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Magnetic pair distribution function data using polarized neutrons and ad hoc corrections...

by Benjamin A. Frandsen, Raju Baral, Barry L Winn, Vasile O Garlea
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Journal of Applied Physics
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We report the first example of magnetic pair distribution function (mPDF) data obtained through the use of neutron polarization analysis. Using the antiferromagnetic semiconductor MnTe as a test case, we present high-quality mPDF data collected on the HYSPEC instrument at the Spallation Neutron Source using longitudinal polarization analysis to isolate the magnetic scattering cross section. Clean mPDF patterns are obtained for MnTe in both the magnetically ordered state and the correlated paramagnet state, where only short-range magnetic order is present. We also demonstrate significant improvement in the quality of high-resolution mPDF data through the application of ad hoc corrections that require only minimal human input, minimizing potential sources of error in the data processing procedure. We briefly discuss the current limitations and future outlook of mPDF analysis using polarized neutrons. Overall, this work provides a useful benchmark for mPDF analysis using polarized neutrons and provides an encouraging picture of the potential for routine collection of high-quality mPDF data.