Changes in spin and lattice dynamics induced by magnetic and structural phase transitions in multiferroic SrMn7O12


Upon cooling, SrMn7O12 undergoes a series of structural and magnetic phase transitions from cubic to rhombohedral symmetry, and to an incommensurately modulated crystal structure, which is connected with charge and orbital ordering of the Mn cations. We report infrared, terahertz, and Raman spectra of SrMn7O12 ceramics reflecting corresponding changes in phonon selection rules, including new phonons appearing in spin-order-induced ferroelectric phases. The observed phonon activities are compared with the predictions from the factor-group analysis. In the high-temperature phase, more phonons are observed than the number predicted for the cubic symmetry. This is explained by the presence of rhombohedral clusters in the cubic phase. The strongest variations occur in THz spectra near the two magnetic phase transitions, at TN1 = 87 K and TN2 = 63 K. These activate new modes in the spectra, with resonance frequencies and intensities changing with temperature and magnetic field. Below TN2, we observed a transfer of oscillator strengths from low-frequency phonons to these excitations, which we assign to electromagnons.

Contact person: Stanislav Kamba

Low-frequency excitations in SrMn7O12
(a) Temperature dependence of the low-frequency excitations observed in THz and IR spectra of SrMn7O12. The open symbols correspond to spin excitations or phonons activated by breaking of the inversion center, whereas the remaining phonons are marked by solid symbols,
(b) Rhombohedral quadruple perovskite crystal structure of SrMn7O12.