One-dimensional magnetic order in the metal-organic framework Tb(HCOO)3
D R Harcombe, P G Welch, P Manuel, P J Saines, and A L Goodwin
Physical Review B 94, 174429 (2016)

A combination of variable-temperature neutron scattering, reverse Monte Carlo analysis and direct Monte Carlo simulation is used to characterise the emergence of magnetic order in the metal–organic framework (MOF) Tb(HCOO)3 over the temperature range 100 K to 1.6 K = TN. We show that the magnetic transition at TN involves one-dimensional ferromagnetic ordering to a partially-ordered state related to the triangular Ising antiferromagnet. In this phase, the direction of magnetisation of ferromagnetic chains tends to alternate between neighbouring chains but this alternation is frustrated and is not itself ordered. In neutron scattering measurements this partial order gives rise to Bragg-like peaks, which cannot be interpreted using conventional magnetic crystallography without resort to unphysical spin models. The existence of low-dimensional magnetic order in Tb(HCOO)3 is stabilised by the contrasting strength of inter- and intra-chain magnetic coupling, itself a consequence of the underlying MOF architecture. Our results demonstrate how MOFs may provide an attractive if as yet under-explored platform for the realisation and investigation of low-dimensional physics.