Anomalous Phonon Lifetime Shortening in Paramagnetic CrN Caused by Spin-Lattice Coupling: A Combined Spin and Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Study

Stockem, I. and Bergman, A. and Glensk, A. and Hickel, T. and Körmann, F. and Grabowski, B. and Neugebauer, J. and Alling, B.

Volume: 121 Pages:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.125902
Published: 2018

We study the mutual coupling of spin fluctuations and lattice vibrations in paramagnetic CrN by combining atomistic spin dynamics and ab initio molecular dynamics. The two degrees of freedom are dynamically coupled, leading to nonadiabatic effects. Those effects suppress the phonon lifetimes at low temperature compared to an adiabatic approach. The dynamic coupling identified here provides an explanation for the experimentally observed unexpected temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity of magnetic semiconductors above the magnetic ordering temperature. © 2018 American Physical Society.

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