The presence of frustration and disorder are necessary ingredients for an SG transition. It was therefore surprising that PrAu2Si2 was reported to show all the characteristics of a SG, even though it is a stoichiometric compound with a well-ordered structure. To understand the origin of the SG ground state in PrAu2Si2, we have performed inelastic neutron scattering measurements of the crystal field (CF) excitation spectrum. These measurements classified PrAu2Si2 as an induced moment SG where the exchange interaction is only just above the critical value for induced moment magnetism with substantial CF linewidth at Tg which plays a central role in disrupting of induced moment formation (see figure) and resulting in the SG ground state. We suggest that PrAu2Si2 reveals a new way to achieving frustration in systems with neither static disorder nor geometrically frustrated lattices, through dynamic fluctuations in proximity to a critical phase boundary.
EA Goremychkin, DT Adroja (ISIS), R Osborn (ANL, USA), B Rainford (University of Southampton), M Koza (ILL, France)
Research date: December 2007
EA Goremychkin et al, J. Mag. Mag. Mat. 310 (2007) 1535