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Ni2Mo3O8: Complex Antiferromagnetic Order on a Honeycomb Lattice



Jennifer R. Morey, Allen Scheie, John P. Sheckelton, Craig Brown, Tyrel M. McQueen


Theoretical studies have predicted the existence of topological magnons in honeycomb compounds with zig-zag antiferromagnetic (AFM) order. Here we report this discovery of zig-zag AFM order in the layered and non-centrosymmetric honeycomb nickelate Ni2Mo3O8 through a combination of magnetization, specific heat, x-ray and neutron diffraction and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements. It is the first example of such order in an integer-spin non-centrosymmetric structure (P63mc). Further, each of the the two distinct sites of the bipartite honeycomb lattice has a unique crystal field environment, octahedral and tetrahedral Ni2+ respectively, enabling independent substitution on each sublattice. Replacement of Ni by Mg on the octahedral site suppresses the long range magnetic order and results in a weakly ferromagnetic state. Conversely, substitution of Fe for Ni enhances the AFM ordering temperature. Thus Ni2Mo3O8 provides a platform on which to explore the rich physics of S=1 on the honeycomb in the presence of competing magnetic interactions with a non-centrosymmetric, formally piezeo-polar, crystal structure.
Physical Review Materials


honeycomb lattice, nickelate, neutron diffraction


Morey, J. , Scheie, A. , Sheckelton, J. , Brown, C. and McQueen, T. (2019), Ni<sub>2</sub>Mo<sub>3</sub>O<sub>8</sub>: Complex Antiferromagnetic Order on a Honeycomb Lattice, Physical Review Materials, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created January 17, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021