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Coexistence of itinerant and local moment magnetism

Coexistence moment magnetism

Identifying the nature of magnetism, itinerant or localized, remains a major challenge in condensed-matter science. Purely localized moments appear only in magnetic insulators, whereas itinerant moments more or less co-exist with localized moments in metallic compounds such as the doped-cuprate or the iron-based superconductors. Here we distinguish two antiferromagnetic modulations with respective propagation wave vectors at Q± = (H ± 0.557(1), 0, L ± 0.150(1)) and QC = (H ± 0.564(1), 0, L), in an ErPd2Si2 single crystal by neutron scattering and establish their respective temperature- and field-dependent phase diagrams.
The modulations can co-exist but also compete depending on temperature or applied field strength. The Q± modulation may be attributed to localized 4f moments while the QC correlates well with itinerant conduction bands, supported by our transport studies. Hence, ErPd2Si2 represents a new model compound that displays clearly-separated itinerant and localized moments, substantiating early theoretical predictions and allowing the study of itinerant electron behavior in a localized antiferromagnetic matrix.

H.F. Li et al., “Distinct itinerant spin-density waves and local-moment antiferromagnetism in an intermetallic ErPd2Si2 single crystal”, Sci. Rep. 5, 7968 (2015).