MS Defense: Melinda Toth

Defense – Monday 13th May at 1:00 pm in P-250 there will be a Masters Thesis Defense presented by Melinda Toth who will give an exciting talk on the  “Magnetic Properties of Sr2YRu1-xIrxO6 Compounds”


The magnetic properties of the double perovskite ruthenate compounds with general composition Sr2YRu1-xIrxO6 (x = 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) were studied in the temperature range of 2-300 K by means of measurements of magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, and thermal conductivity. Polycrystalline samples were prepared by solid-state reaction. Sr2YRuO6 (Sr-2116) is an antiferromagnetic (AFM) insulator, derived from the parent compound with general composition ABO3, where both A and B are cations namely, A = Sr2+and B = Ru4+. Structural Rietveld refinements of the Sr2YRu1-xIrxO6 x-ray powder diffraction data were carried out and the spectra could be indexed according to the monoclinic *P*21*/n* space group. The lattice parameters are found to increase nearly linearly with Ir substitution, consistent with Vegard’s law. Field-cooled (FC) magnetic susceptibility measurements on pure Sr2YRuO6 reveal a broad symmetric peak centered near *TN *~ 26 K.  Previous studies have associated the *TN*~26 K peak with the AFM ordering temperature. Specific heat measurements for pure Sr2YRuO6 show two well-defined peaks, one of which correlates relatively well in temperature with the feature at *TN *~ 26 K observed in the FC magnetic susceptibility data.  The mechanism driving the second feature in *CP(T)* at ~ 30 K is not well established. The broad peak in magnetic susceptibility along with the two overlapping features in specific heat are suggestive of AFM order and complex, frustrated magnetic behavior. It has been suggested that the feature at ~ 30 K may correspond to a slight structural modification, or perhaps that it is a result of competing channels for the indirect exchange interactions, e.g. Ru-O-O-Ru and Ru-O-Y-O-Ru. In order to probe the origin and stability of the magnetically ordered state, the study consisted in measurements of a series of Ir-doped compounds with partial Ir substitution for Ru. Previous studies have verified that Sr-2116 orders magnetically at the Ru5+ site. The partial substitution of the less magnetic Ir for Ru drives down the ordering temperature and weakens the AFM state. Measurements of entropy loss in the ordered state and thermal conductivity are discussed. Also addressed are the issues of measurement artifacts, including the effect of the remnant flux in the superconducting magnet, which leads to the observation of a “negative” magnetic susceptibility at low temperatures; time-dependence near the AFM ordering temperature; as well as the possible contribution of radiative heat loss to the *T3* behavior in thermal conductivity above ~ 125 K. The effects of these measurement artifacts and remedies will be discussed along with the results of the study and plans for further investigation of these exotic materials.

Committee Members:

Dr. Milton Torikachvili (Chair, Dept. of Physics),

Dr. Fridolin Weber (Dept. of Physics), and

Dr. David Pullman (Dept. of Chemistry).



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