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  1. In order to explore the consequences of spin–orbit coupling on spin–phonon interactions in a set of chemically similar mixed metal oxides, we measured the infrared vibrational properties of Co4B2O9 (B = Nb, Ta) as a function of temperature and compared our findings with lattice dynamics calculations and several different models of spin–phonon coupling. Frequency vs temperature trends for the Co2+ shearing mode near 150 cm−1 reveal significant shifts across the magnetic ordering temperature that are especially large in relative terms. Bringing these results together and accounting for noncollinearity, we obtain spin–phonon coupling constants of −3.4 and −4.3 cm−1 for Co4Nb2O9 and the Ta analog, respectively. Analysis reveals that these coupling constants are derived from interlayer (rather than intralayer) exchange interactions and that the interlayer interactions contain competing antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic contributions. At the same time, beyond-Heisenberg terms are minimized due to fortuitous symmetry considerations, different from most other 4d- and 5d-containing oxides. Comparison with other contemporary oxides shows that spin–phonon coupling in this family of materials is among the strongest ever reported, suggesting an origin for magnetoelectric coupling. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Hafnia (HfO 2 ) is a promising material for emerging chip applications due to its high- κ dielectric behavior, suitability for negative capacitance heterostructures, scalable ferroelectricity, and silicon compatibility. The lattice dynamics along with phononic properties such as thermal conductivity, contraction, and heat capacity are under-explored, primarily due to the absence of high quality single crystals. Herein, we report the vibrational properties of a series of HfO 2 crystals stabilized with yttrium (chemical formula HfO 2 :  x Y, where x  = 20, 12, 11, 8, and 0%) and compare our findings with a symmetry analysis and lattice dynamics calculations. We untangle the effects of Y by testing our calculations against the measured Raman and infrared spectra of the cubic, antipolar orthorhombic, and monoclinic phases and then proceed to reveal the signature modes of polar orthorhombic hafnia. This work provides a spectroscopic fingerprint for several different phases of HfO 2 and paves the way for an analysis of mode contributions to high- κ dielectric and ferroelectric properties for chip technologies. 
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  3. Abstract We present Raman-scattering results for three materials, CeB 6 , TbInO 3 , and YbRu 2 Ge 2 , to illustrate the essential aspects of crystal-field (CF) excitations and quadrupolar fluctuations of 4 f -electron systems. For CF excitations, we illustrate how the 4 f orbits are split by spin-orbit coupling and CF potential by presenting spectra for inter- and intra-multiplet excitations over a large energy range. We discuss identification of the CF ground state and establishment of low-energy CF level scheme from the symmetry and energy of measured CF excitations. In addition, we demonstrate that the CF linewidth is a sensitive probe of electron correlation by virtue of self-energy effect. For quadrupolar fluctuations, we discuss both ferroquadrupolar (FQ) and antiferroquadrupolar (AFQ) cases. Long-wavelength quadrupolar fluctuations of the same symmetry as the FQ order parameter persists well above the transition temperature, from which the strength of electronic intersite quadrupolar interaction can be evaluated. The tendency towards AFQ ordering induces ferromagnetic correlation between neighboring 4 f -ion sites, leading to long-wavelength magnetic fluctuations. 
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  4. null (Ed.)