We studied the low-temperature specific heat C(T) and the magnetic susceptibility chi(T) of Gd(hfac)(3)NITiPr, a quasi-one-dimensional (ID) molecular magnetic chain with competing nearest-neighbor (nn) and next-nearest-neighbor (nnn) intrachain exchange interactions. The anomaly observed in C(T) was reproducibly found at T-0=2.09 K, although the C(T) curves measured on different samples showed clear evidence for aging effects. For fresh, high-quality samples, the lambda shape of the anomaly and the negligible latent heat (less than 7 x 10(-3) J/mol) strongly suggest the presence of a phase transition of order higher than the first. In the best sample at temperatures well below T, (0.2-1 K), a linear C-vs-T dependence was found, which we interpreted in the framework of ID quantum free spin-wave theory. Strong aging effects were also found in the magnetic susceptibility X(T) which, for the best and freshest sample, exhibits a very small anomaly close to T-0 (at T-chi = 2.1 K), superimposed to a diverging paramagnetic behavior at lower temperatures. The anomaly at T-0(similar to T-chi) could be due to a transition to three-dimensional (3D) helical long-range order, but this is inconsistent with the observed linear C-vs-T behavior, typical of a 1D magnet with strong intrachain antiferromagnetic interactions, An alternative interpretation, capable of explaining the C(T) data both in the low-temperature and in the critical region, calls for the onset, below T-0, of nonconventional chiral long-range order due to interchain interactions. The chiral phase can be described as a collection of parallel corkscrews, all turning clockwise (or all counterclockwise), whereas their phases are random. An estimation of Tn according to this model and using the exchange constants evaluated from the linear C-vs-T slope supports this interpretation. The chiral order is compatible with the breaking of the chain into finite segments, due to aging effects, while the phase coherence necessary for the onset of 3D helical long-range order is destroyed. In this frame-work. a qualitative account for the very small anomaly observed in the magnetic susceptibility chi(T) can also be given. [S0163-1829 (99)06909-X].

Low temperature thermodynamic properties of molecular magnetic chains / Affronte, Marco; Caneschi, A; Cucci, C; Gatteschi, D; Lasjaunias, Jc; Paulsen, C; Pini, Mg; Rettori, A; Sessoli, R.. - In: PHYSICAL REVIEW. B, CONDENSED MATTER AND MATERIALS PHYSICS. - ISSN 1550-235X. - 59:(1999), pp. 6282-6293.

### Low temperature thermodynamic properties of molecular magnetic chains

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*AFFRONTE, Marco;*

##### 1999-01-01

#### Abstract

We studied the low-temperature specific heat C(T) and the magnetic susceptibility chi(T) of Gd(hfac)(3)NITiPr, a quasi-one-dimensional (ID) molecular magnetic chain with competing nearest-neighbor (nn) and next-nearest-neighbor (nnn) intrachain exchange interactions. The anomaly observed in C(T) was reproducibly found at T-0=2.09 K, although the C(T) curves measured on different samples showed clear evidence for aging effects. For fresh, high-quality samples, the lambda shape of the anomaly and the negligible latent heat (less than 7 x 10(-3) J/mol) strongly suggest the presence of a phase transition of order higher than the first. In the best sample at temperatures well below T, (0.2-1 K), a linear C-vs-T dependence was found, which we interpreted in the framework of ID quantum free spin-wave theory. Strong aging effects were also found in the magnetic susceptibility X(T) which, for the best and freshest sample, exhibits a very small anomaly close to T-0 (at T-chi = 2.1 K), superimposed to a diverging paramagnetic behavior at lower temperatures. The anomaly at T-0(similar to T-chi) could be due to a transition to three-dimensional (3D) helical long-range order, but this is inconsistent with the observed linear C-vs-T behavior, typical of a 1D magnet with strong intrachain antiferromagnetic interactions, An alternative interpretation, capable of explaining the C(T) data both in the low-temperature and in the critical region, calls for the onset, below T-0, of nonconventional chiral long-range order due to interchain interactions. The chiral phase can be described as a collection of parallel corkscrews, all turning clockwise (or all counterclockwise), whereas their phases are random. An estimation of Tn according to this model and using the exchange constants evaluated from the linear C-vs-T slope supports this interpretation. The chiral order is compatible with the breaking of the chain into finite segments, due to aging effects, while the phase coherence necessary for the onset of 3D helical long-range order is destroyed. In this frame-work. a qualitative account for the very small anomaly observed in the magnetic susceptibility chi(T) can also be given. [S0163-1829 (99)06909-X].##### Pubblicazioni consigliate

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