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Metal–insulator and magnetic transitions in heavily irradiated NaCl–KBF4

By F.G. Cherkasov, S.G. L’vov, D.A. Tikhonov, H.W. den Hartog and D.I. Vainshtein


We have performed electron spin resonance (ESR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and static magnetic susceptibility measurements on heavily irradiated NaCl–KBF4 single crystals in the temperature range 4.2 < T < 350 K. In these samples, up to about 10% of the NaCl molecules are transformed into extremely small metallic Na particles and Cl2 precipitates. At high temperatures a one-line ESR signal, i.e. common mode due to strong exchange interaction between conduction electrons and F-aggregate centres, is observed. We propose that the smooth decrease of the ESR spin susceptibility with decreasing temperature, which can be as large as 50%, is due to a metal–insulator transition, taking place at about 40 K. In the same temperature range, the linewidth increases by 18±2 G with decreasing temperature. This anomalous broadening is explained by a reduction of the exchange narrowing at low temperatures. NMR spin–lattice relaxation on 23Na shows a Korringa-type behaviour down to 10 K, which suggests that the conducting phase in heavily irradiated NaCl–KBF4 behaves as a three-dimensional metal. SQUID experiments have revealed antiferromagnetic ordering at 40 K and a ferromagnetic phase below 20 K. The nature of the observed effects is discussed.

Year: 2002
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