Tuning Crystallographic and Magnetic Symmetry in Lithium Transition Metal Phosphates and Thiophosphates

dc.contributor.advisorRodriguez, Efrain E.en_US
dc.contributor.authorDiethrich, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.description.abstractFerroic ordering needs no introduction; ferromagnetic, ferroelectric, and ferroelastic materials have had a significant impact on the materials science community for many years. While these three main types of ferroic ordering are well known, there is a fourth and final, lesser known ferroic ordering known as ferrotoroidicity. A ferrotoroidic material undergoes a spontaneous, physical alignment of toroidal moments under a critical temperature. This study is focused on broadening our current understanding of ferrotoroidics by studying two families of materials: LiMPO4, and Li2MP2S6, where M = Fe, Mn, and Co. While these two materials initially appear to be similar in some regards, many differences can be observed as a deeper dive is taken into their crystallography and magnetic structures. For a toroidal moment to exist, a specific orientation of magnetic moments is required, because of this, only certain magnetic point groups are allowed. For example, LiFePO4 has an “allowed” magnetic point group of m’mm, while it’s delithiated counterpart FePO4 has a “forbidden” magnetic point group of 222. This work has found that by using a new selective oxidation technique, lithium concentration can be controlled in the Li1−xFexMn1−xPO4 solid solution series. Neutron powder diffraction and representational analysis were used to find the magnetic point groups of each member of this series. In the end, each structure was solved and the largest transition temperature to date was reported for a potential ferrotoroidic material. The magnetic exchange interactions can be used to describe the magnetic phase changes that occuracross the Li1−xFexMn1−xPO4 series. The second group of materials in this study is the lithium transition metal thiophosphates of the formula Li2MP2S6, where M = Fe, Co. The structure of Li2FeP2S6 has been previously studied but no magnetic properties of this material have been reported. In addition, neither the structural nor magnetic properties have been reported for the cobalt analog. Single crystalXRD was used to confirm the previously reported crystal structure of Li2FeP2S6 and to find the novel crystal structure of Li2CoP2S6; both crystallize in a trigonal P31m space group. While isostructural in some regard, there are some crucial differences between these materials. The site occupancies are different, resulting in non-trivial charge balances and a unique thiophosphate distortion. Originally, these materials were chosen because their nuclear structure was predicted to host long-range antiferromagnetic order and potentially ferrotoroidic order. Contrary to expectations, magnetic susceptibility and field dependent measurements demonstrated paramagnetic behavior for both the iron and the cobalt sample down to 2 K. This result was further confirmed by a lack of magnetic reflections in the time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction data. While the phosphates and the thiophosphates demonstrated very different structural andmagnetic results, they both remain relevant materials for not only ferrotoroidics, but also magnetoelectrics, spintronics, quantum materials, and much more.en_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledInorganic chemistryen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledMaterials Scienceen_US
dc.titleTuning Crystallographic and Magnetic Symmetry in Lithium Transition Metal Phosphates and Thiophosphatesen_US


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