Magnetic order and spin-flop transitions in the cobalt-doped multiferroic Mn 1-xCo xWO 4

Feng Ye, Songxue Chi, Jaime A. Fernandez-Baca, Huibo Cao, K. C. Liang, Yaqi Wang, Bernd Lorenz, C. W. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive single-crystal neutron diffraction investigation of the Mn 1-xCo xWO 4 with 0.02≤x≤0.30. At lower concentration x≤0.05, the system is quickly driven into the multiferroic phase with spin structure forming an elliptical spiral order similar to the parent compound. The reduction of electric polarization is ascribed to the tilting of the spiral plane. For x∼0.075, the magnetic structure undergoes a spin-flop transition that is characterized by a sudden rotation of the spin helix envelope into the ac plane. This spin structure persists for concentration up to x=0.15, where additional competing magnetic orders appear at low temperature. For 0.17≤x≤0.30, the system experiences another spin-flop transition and recovers the low-x spiral spin configuration. A simple commensurate spin structure with q =(0.5,0,0) is found to coexist with the incommensurate spiral order. The complex evolution of magnetic structure in Co doped MnWO 4 contrasts sharply with other transition metal ion doped Mn 1-xA xWO 4 (A=Zn, Mg, Fe) where the chemical substitutions stabilize only one type of magnetic structure. The rich phase diagram of Mn 1-xCo xWO 4 results from the interplay between magnetic frustration and spin anisotropy of the Co ions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094429
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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