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Strong local lattice instability in hexagonal ferrites RFe2O4 (R = Lu,Y,Yb) revealed by x-ray absorption spectroscopy

AutorLafuerza, Sara; García, Joaquín; Subías, G.; Blasco, Javier; Cuartero, Vera
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorAmerican Physical Society
CitaciónPhysical Review B 89: 045129 (2014)
ResumenWe present here an x-ray absorption study of the RFe2O4 series (LuFe2O4, YFe2O4, YbFe2O4, and LuCoFeO4) at the Fe K-edge. Extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectra were measured at temperatures ranging from 100 K to 390 K crossing the charge ordering (CO) transition temperatures on both isotropic and oriented powder samples. Unpolarized and polarized x-ray absorption spectra with the x-ray polarization parallel and perpendicular to the hexagonal c axis were obtained separately. The XANES spectra show almost no dependence with either polarization or temperature. This indicates that, in contrast to its average crystallographic structure, the local electronic and geometrical state of the Fe atom is barely anisotropic, and it remains the same above and below the proposed CO. Moreover, the linear combination of two spectra corresponding to the pure ionic states Fe2+ and Fe3+ does not fit to the experimental XANES of either LuFe2O4, YFe2O4, or YbFe2O4, discarding total ionic segregation in favor of an intermediate mixed valence state. The maximum charge disproportionation compatible with the XANES spectra is 0.5 ± 0.1 electrons in the whole temperature range. The polarized EXAFS spectra have allowed us to analyze the local structure separating the different contributions mixed up in the polycrystal. Best-fit results show that the five oxygen atoms of the first coordination shell are at nearly the same distance but with a large Debye-Waller factor. Neither the interatomic distances nor the Debye-Waller factors of the first oxygen coordination shell change with temperature, indicating that the dynamical structural distortion of the high-temperature symmetric hexagonal phase freezes upon cooling down. Thus, the local structure instability of the mixed valence is in the origin of the structural transitions. © 2014 American Physical Society.
DescripciónUnder the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY).
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.89.045129
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.89.045129
issn: 1098-0121
e-issn: 1550-235X
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