AIP Digital Archive
The complex magnetic behavior of holmium is a well-established experimental fact and has been studied by a variety of experimental techniques, including magnetization, x-ray diffraction, thermal expansion, and heat capacity. Our recent studies have focused on using neutron diffraction to study the temperature and field dependence of the helimagnetic structure. The pitch of the helix is described by τ, the spiral wave vector. τ usually varies smoothly with temperature but tends to lock in at various values that are commensurate with the lattice when a field is applied. These lock-ins provide clues to the nature of the different magnetic phases and, up to now, all the lock-ins have corresponded to features of the magnetic phase diagram obtained from magnetization measurements. However, recent experiments have revealed a previously unobserved lock-in at τ=2/9 rlu in a 1.4 T b-axis field. It shares the same general features of other lock-ins except that it does not correspond to any feature of the magnetic phase diagram.
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