Thermodynamic phase transitions in a frustrated magnetic metamaterial
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Materials with interacting magnetic degrees of freedom display a rich variety of magnetic behaviour that can lead to novel collective equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium phenomena. In equilibrium, thermodynamic phases appear with the associated phase transitions providing a characteristic signature of the underlying collective behaviour. Here we create a thermally active artificial kagome spin ice that is made up of a large array of dipolar interacting nanomagnets and undergoes phase transitions predicted by microscopic theory. We use low energy muon spectroscopy to probe the dynamic behaviour of the interacting nanomagnets and observe peaks in the muon relaxation rate that can be identified with the critical temperatures of the predicted phase transitions. This provides experimental evidence that a frustrated magnetic metamaterial can be engineered to admit thermodynamic phases.
Anghinolfi , L , Luetkens , H , Perron , J , Flokstra , M G , Sendetskyi , O , Suter , A , Prokscha , T , Derlet , P M , Lee , S L & Heyderman , L J 2015 , ' Thermodynamic phase transitions in a frustrated magnetic metamaterial ' Nature Communications , vol 6 , 8278 . DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9278
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 290605 (COFUND: PSI-FELLOW) and from the EPSRC (grant EP/J01060X).