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Title: Giant magnetic anisotropy and tunnelling of the magnetization in Li2(Li1-xFex)N

Large magnetic anisotropy and coercivity are key properties of functional magnetic materials and are generally associated with rare earth elements. Here we show an extreme, uniaxial magnetic anisotropy and the emergence of magnetic hysteresis in Li2(Li 1-xFe x)N. An extrapolated, magnetic anisotropy field of 220 T and a coercivity field of over 11 T at 2 K outperform all known hard ferromagnets and single-molecular magnets. Steps in the hysteresis loops and relaxation phenomena in striking similarity to single-molecular magnets are particularly pronounced for x<<1 and indicate the presence of nanoscale magnetic centres. Quantum tunnelling, in the form of temperature-independent relaxation and coercivity, deviation from Arrhenius behaviour and blocking of the relaxation, dominates the magnetic properties up to 10 K. The simple crystal structure, the availability of large single crystals and the ability to vary the Fe concentration make Li2(Li 1-xFe x)N an ideal model system to study macroscopic quantum effects at elevated temperatures and also a basis for novel functional magnetic materials.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
IS-J 8280
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Communications; Journal Volume: 5
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; physical sciences; condensed matter; materials science