Magnetic ordering and crystal field effects in quasi-caged structure compound PrFe2Al8

Harikrishnan S. Nair, Sarit K. Ghosh, K. Ramesh Kumar, André M. Strydom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The compound PrFe2Al8 possesses a three-dimensional network structure resulting from the packing of Al polyhedra centered at the transition metal element Fe and the rare earth Pr. Along the c-axis, Fe and Pr form chains which are separated from each other by the Al-network. In this paper, the magnetism and crystalline electric field effects in PrFe2Al8 are investigated through the analysis of magnetization and specific heat data. A magnetic phase transition in the Pr lattice is identified at TNPr≈4K in dc magnetization and ac susceptibility data. At 2 K, the magnetization isotherm presents a ferromagnetic saturation, however, failing to reach full spin-only ferromagnetic moment of Pr3+. Metamagnetic step-like low-field features are present in the magnetization curve at 2 K which is shown to shift upon field-cooling the material. Arrott plots centered around TPrN display "S"-like features suggestive of an inhomogeneous magnetic state. The magnetic entropy, Sm, estimated from specific heat outputs a value of R ln(2) at TN2 suggesting a doublet state for Pr3+. The magnetic specific heat is modeled by using a 9-level Schottky equation pertinent to the Pr3+ ion with J=4. Given the crystalline electric field situation of Pr3+, the inference of a doublet state from specific heat and consequent long-range magnetic order is an unexpected result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Caged structure
  • Crystal field effects
  • Intermetallics
  • Pr-magnetism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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