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Incommensurate antiferromagnetic order in CePtAl3

Publication at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics |


We report on a neutron diffraction study of single-crystal CePtAl3 complemented by measurements of the specific heat under applied magnetic field. Below TN approximate to 3 K, CePtAl3 develops incommensurate antiferromag-netic order with a single modulation vector k = (0.676 0 0).

Residual magnetic scattering intensity above TN and a broadening of the specific heat anomaly at TN may be consistently described in terms of a Gaussian distribution of transition temperatures with a standard deviation sigma approximate to 0.5 K. The distribution of TN may be attributed to the observation of occupational and positional disorder between the Pt and Al sites consistent with structural information inferred from neutron diffraction.

Measurements under magnetic field reveal changes of the magnetic domain populations when the field is applied along the [010] direction consistent with a transition from cycloidal to amplitude-modulated magnetic order similar to 2.5 T.