Magnetocrystalline anisotropic effect in GdCo$_{1-x}$Fe$_x$AsO ($x = 0, 0.05$)

Research paper by T. Shang, Y. H. Chen, F. Ronning, N. Cornell, J. D. Thompson, A. Zakhidov, M. B. Salamon, H. Q. Yuan

Indexed on: 18 Feb '15Published on: 18 Feb '15Published in: Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons


From a systematic study of the electrical resistivity $\rho(T,H)$, magnetic susceptibility $\chi(T,H)$, isothermal magnetization $M(H)$ and the specific heat $C(T,H)$, a temperature-magnetic field ($T$-$H$) phase diagram has been established for GdCo$_{1-x}$Fe$_x$AsO ($x = 0$ and $0.05$) polycrystalline compounds. GdCoAsO undergoes two long-range magnetic transitions: ferromagnetic (FM) transition of Co $3d$ electrons ($T_\textup{C}^\textup{Co}$) and antiferromagnetic (AFM) transition of Gd $4f$ electrons ($T_\textup{N}^\textup{Gd}$). For the Fe-doped sample ($x=0.05$), an extra magnetic reorientation transition takes place below $T_\textup{N}^\textup{Gd}$, which is likely associated with Co moments. The two magnetic species of Gd and Co are coupled antiferromagnetically to give rise to ferrimagnetic (FIM) behavior in the magnetic susceptibility. Upon decreasing the temperature ($T < T_\textup{C}^\textup{Co}$), the magnetocrystalline anisotropy breaks up the FM order of Co by aligning the moments with the local easy axes of the various grains, leading to a spin reorientation transition at $T_\textup{R}^\textup{Co}$. By applying a magnetic field, $T_\textup{R}^\textup{Co}$ monotonically decreases to lower temperatures, while the $T_\textup{N}^\textup{Gd}$ is relatively robust against the external field. On the other hand, the applied magnetic field pulls the magnetization of grains from the local easy direction to the field direction via a first-order reorientation transition, with the transition field ($H_\textup{M}$) increasing upon cooling the temperature.