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Establishing magneto-structural relationships in the solid solutions of the skyrmion hosting family of materials : GaV4S8−ySey.

Štefančič, Aleš and Holt, Samuel J. R. and Lees, Martin R. and Ritter, Clemens and Gutmann, Matthias J. and Lancaster, Tom and Balakrishnan, Geetha (2020) 'Establishing magneto-structural relationships in the solid solutions of the skyrmion hosting family of materials : GaV4S8−ySey.', Scientific reports., 10 (1). p. 9813.


The GaV4S8−ySey (y = 0 to 8) family of materials have been synthesized in both polycrystalline and single crystal form, and their structural and magnetic properties thoroughly investigated. Each of these materials crystallizes in the Fˉ 43m space group at ambient temperature. However, in contrast to the end members GaV4S8 and GaV4Se8, that undergo a structural transition to the R3m space group at 42 and 41 K respectively, the solid solutions (y = 1 to 7) retain cubic symmetry down to 1.5 K. In zero applied feld the end members of the family order ferromagnetically at 13 K (GaV4S8) and 18 K (GaV4Se8), while the intermediate compounds exhibit a spin-glass-like ground state. We demonstrate that the magnetic structure of GaV4S8 shows localization of spins on the V cations, indicating that a charge ordering mechanism drives the structural phase transition. We conclude that the observation of both structural and ferromagnetic transitions in the end members of the series in zero feld is a prerequisite for the stabilization of a skyrmion phase, and discuss how the absence of these transitions in the y = 1 to 7 materials can be explained by their structural properties.

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Date accepted:30 April 2020
Date deposited:25 June 2020
Date of first online publication:17 June 2020
Date first made open access:25 June 2020

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