Indexed on: 28 Oct '11Published on: 28 Oct '11Published in: JETP Letters
Resonance modes that are due to magnetic excitations in the exchange-coupled subsystems of rare-earth ions (R = Nd3+, Sm3+, and Gd3+) and Fe3+ ions have been detected in submillimeter transmission spectra (0.1–0.6 THz) of RFe3(BO3)4 iron borate-multiferroic single crystals. The strong interaction between spin oscillations of the Fe and R subsystems has been revealed, which determines the behavior of the modes depending on the anisotropy of the exchange splitting of the ground doublet of the R ion. It has been shown that the intensities of coupled modes (contributions to the magnetic permeability) depend strongly on the difference between the g factors of Fe and R ions. This dependence makes it possible to determine the sign of the latter g factor. In particular, a noticeable intensity of exchange Nd modes in NdFe3(BO3)4 is due to an increase in their contribution at g⊥, ‖Nd < 0, while in GdFe3(BO3)4 with gGd ≈ gFe ≈ 2, the Fe and Gd contributions compensate each other and the exchange (Gd) mode is not observed. In spite of the weak interaction of Sm ions with the magnetic field, SmFe3(BO3)4 exhibits resonance modes, which are attributed to the excitation of Sm ions through the Fe subsystem.