The Cu3O4 layer in Sr2Cu3O4Cl2 is a variant of the square CuO2 lattice of the high-temperature superconductors, in which the center of every second plaquette contains an extra Cu2+ ion. Whereas the ordering of the spins in the ground-state and the spin-wave excitations of this frustrated spin system are both well understood, we find peculiar behavior resulting from antiferromagnetic domain walls. Pseudodipolar coupling between the two sets of Cu2+ ions results in a ferromagnetic moment, the direction of which reflects the direction of the antiferromagnetic staggered moment, allowing us to probe the antiferromagnetic domain structure. After an excursion to the high fields (> 1T), as the field is lowered, we observe the growth of domains with ferromagnetic moment perpendicular to the field. This gives rise to a finite domain wall susceptibility at small fields, which diverges near 100 K, indicating a phase transition. We also find that the shape of the sample influences the domain-wall behavior.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2001|