Magnetic Disorder as a FirstOrder Phase Transformation
Abstract
The exchange interaction that gives rise to ordered magnetic states depends upon interatomic spacing. If the lattice is deformable, then a spontaneous distortion of the lattice will occur in the ordered state. We have calculated, in the molecular field approximation, the properties of a system in which the exchange energy dependence is given by T_{c}=T_{0}[1+β(vv_{0})v_{0}]. T_{c} is the Curie temperature appropriate to a lattice volume v while v_{0} is the equilibrium volume in the absence of magnetic interactions. The course of the magnetization with temperature of such a system depends upon the steepness β of the exchange interaction dependence on interatomic distance, the compressibility K, and T_{0}. The behavior may be the usual secondorder transition to paramagnetism, but it can in fact become a firstorder transition with the properties usually associated thereto, e.g., latent heat and discontinuous density change. In the absence of an externally applied pressure, the transition will be of the first order if η≡40NkKT_{0}β^{2}[j(j+1)]^{2}[(2j+1)^{4}1]>1. In this inequality, N is the number per unit volume of magnetic ions of angular momentum jℏ while k is the Boltzmann constant. We have reviewed the experimental evidence on the nature of the firstorder magnetic transition in MnAs. We find that this evidence indicates the transition to be one from ferromagnetism to paramagnetism rather than ferromagnetism to antiferromagnetism as has been generally assumed. Application of the theory noted above gives η=2 for this transition. In addition, we derive a value for the volume strain sensitivity, β=19 and infer the compressibility to be 2.2×10^{12} cm^{2}/d.
 Publication:

Physical Review
 Pub Date:
 April 1962
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRev.126.104
 Bibcode:
 1962PhRv..126..104B