In a recent paper [J. S. Gardner et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 1012 (1999)] it was found that the Tb3+ magnetic moments in the Tb2Ti2O7 antiferromagnetic pyrochlore lattice of corner-sharing tetrahedra remain in a collective paramagnetic state down to 70 mK. In this paper we present results from dc magnetic susceptibility, specific-heat data, inelastic neutron-scattering measurements, and crystal-field calculations that strongly suggest that (i) the Tb3+ ions in Tb2Ti2O7 possess a moment of approximatively 5 μB, and (ii) the ground state g-tensor is extremely anisotropic below a temperature of O(100) K, with Ising-like Tb3+ magnetic moments confined to point along a local cubic 〈111〉 diagonal (e.g., towards the middle of the tetrahedron). Such a very large easy-axis Ising-like anisotropy along a 〈111〉 direction dramatically reduces the frustration otherwise present in a Heisenberg pyrochlore antiferromagnet. The results presented herein underpin the conceptual difficulty in understanding the microscopic mechanism(s) responsible for Tb2Ti2O7 failing to develop long-range order at a temperature of the order of the paramagnetic Curie-Weiss temperature θcw≅ - 101 K. We suggest that dipolar interactions and extra perturbative exchange coupling(s) beyond nearest neighbors may be responsible for the lack of ordering of Tb2Ti2O7.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2000 Sep 1|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics