Spin correlations in Ca3Co2O6: A polarised-neutron diffraction and Monte Carlo study
J A M Paddison, S Agrestini, M R Lees, C L Fleck, P P Deen, A L Goodwin, J R Stewart and O A Petrenko
Physical Review B 90, 014411 (2014)
We present polarised-neutron diffraction measurements of the Ising-like spin-chain compound Ca3Co2O6 above and below the magnetic ordering temperature TN. Below TN, a clear evolution from a single-phase spin-density wave (SDW) structure to a mixture of SDW and commensurate antiferromagnet (CAFM) structures is observed on cooling. For a rapidly-cooled sample, the majority phase at low temperature is the SDW, while if the cooling is performed sufficiently slowly, then the SDW and the CAFM structure coexist between 1.5 and 10 K. Above TN, we use Monte Carlo methods to analyse the magnetic diffuse scattering data. We show that both intra- and inter-chain correlations persist above TN, but are essentially decoupled. Intra-chain correlations resemble the ferromagnetic Ising model, while inter-chain correlations resemble the frustrated triangular-lattice antiferromagnet. Using previously-published bulk property measurements and our neutron diffraction data, we obtain values of the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic exchange interactions and the single-ion anisotropy.