Novel Phase Transitions in the Breathing Pyrochlore Lattice:Li−NMR7onLiInCr4O8andLiGaCr4O8

Yu Tanaka, Makoto Yoshida, Masashi Takigawa, Yoshihiko Okamoto, Zenji Hiroi
2014 Physical Review Letters  
We report 7Li-NMR studies on LiInCr4O8 and LiGaCr4O8, in which Cr3+ ions with spin 3/2 form a breathing pyrochlore lattice, a network of tetrahedra with alternating sizes. In LiInCr4O8 with large alternation, the nuclear relaxation rate 1/T1 shows an activated temperature (T) dependence down to 18 K, indicating a singlet ground state with a spin gap. This behavior, however, is disrupted by an antiferromagnetic (AF) transition at 13 K, which is preceded by another, most likely structural,
more » ... ion at 16 K. In contrast, LiGaCr4O8 with small alternation shows no spin gap but exhibits a first-order AF transition over a distributed T-range 13-20 K. Nevertheless, 1/T1 of the paramagnetic phase diverges toward 13 K, indicating proximity to a second-order transition. The results indicate that LiGaCr4O8 is located in the vicinity of a tricritical point in the phase diagram.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.113.227204 pmid:25494086 fatcat:nl3jecqrbjgm7en2tdepxhn5ja