Phonons in magnetically disordered materials: Magnetic versus phononic time scales

Dutta, B. and Körmann, F. and Ghosh, S. and Sanyal, B. and Neugebauer, J. and Hickel, T.

Volume: 101 Pages:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.101.094201
Published: 2020

The lattice dynamics in magnetic materials, such as Fe depends on the degree of disorder of the atomic magnetic moments and the time scale of spin fluctuations. Using first-principles methods, we have studied this effect by determining the force constant matrix in two limits: (i) When spin fluctuations are much faster than the atom vibrations, their combined impact is captured by a spin-space averaged force constant matrix, (ii) when individual spin fluctuations are sufficiently slow to scatter the phonon modes, the itinerant coherent potential approximation with spin-pair resolved force constants (i.e., φ↑↑,φ↓↓, and φ↑↓) is employed in this paper. The physical consequences for the vibrational spectral functions are analyzed by systematically modifying the input parameters (magnetization and ratio of force constants betweens atoms with equal and opposite spin directions) and by deriving them for the prototype material system bcc Fe from first-principles calculations. In the paramagnetic regime, the two limits yield identical phonon spectra. Below the Curie temperature, however, there are regions in the parametric study that show qualitative differences, including a broadening of the phonon peaks. For bcc Fe, however, the quantitative modifications of phonon frequencies turn out to be small. © 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Open access publication funded by the Max Planck Society.

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