Low-temperature spin dynamics in the TmFeO3 orthoferrite with a non-Kramers ion

Skorobogatov, S. A.; Nikitin, S. E.; Shaykhutdinov, K. A.; Balaev, A. D.; Terentjev, K. Yu; et al. Physical Review B, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.101.014432

We investigate the magnetic dynamics of the orthorhombic perovskite TmFeO3 at low temperatures, below the spin reorientation transition at T-SR approximate to 80 K, by means of time-of-flight neutron spectroscopy. We find that the magnetic excitation spectrum combines two emergent collective modes associated with different magnetic sublattices. The Fe subsystem orders below T-N similar to 632 K into a canted antiferromagnetic structure and exhibits sharp, high-energy magnon excitations. We describe them using linear spin-wave theory, and reveal a pronounced anisotropy between in- and out-of-plane exchange interactions, which was mainly neglected in previous reports on the spin dynamics in orthoferrites. At lower energies, we find two crystalline electrical field (CEF) excitations of Tm3+ ions at energies of similar to 2 and 5 meV. In contrast to the sister compound YbFeO3, where the Yb3+ ions form quasi-one-dimensional chains along the c axis, the Tm excitations show dispersion along both directions in the (OKL) scattering plane. Analysis of the neutron scattering polarization factor reveals a longitudinal polarization of the 2 meV excitation. To evaluate the effect of the CEF on the Tm3+ ions, we perform point-charge model calculations, and their results quantitatively capture the main features of Tm single-ion physics, such as energies, intensities, and polarization of the CEF transitions, and the type of magnetic anisotropy.