Itinerant Antiferromagnetism in RuO$_{2}$

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Bulk rutile RuO$_2$ has long been considered a Pauli paramagnet. Here we report that RuO$_2$ exhibits a hitherto undetected lattice distortion below approximately 900 K. The distortion is accompanied by antiferromagnetic order up to at least 300 K with a small room temperature magnetic moment of approximately 0.05 $\mu_B$ as evidenced by polarized neutron diffraction. Density functional theory plus $U$ (DFT+$U$) calculations indicate that antiferromagnetism is favored even for small values of the Hubbard $U$ of the order of 1 eV. The antiferromagnetism may be traced to a Fermi surface instability, lifting the band degeneracy imposed by the rutile crystal field. The combination of high N'eel temperature and small itinerant moments make RuO$_2$ unique among ruthenate compounds and among oxide materials in general.





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Berlijn, T, PC Snijders, O Delaire, H-D Zhou, TA Maier, H-B Cao, S-X Chi, M Matsuda, et al. (2017). Itinerant Antiferromagnetism in RuO$_{2}$. PRL, 118. p. 077201. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.077201 Retrieved from

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Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

The Delaire group investigates atomistic transport processes of energy and charge, and thermodynamics in energy materials. We use a combined experimental and computational approach to understand and control microscopic energy transport for the design of next-generation materials, in particular for sustainable energy applications. Current materials of interest include superionic conductors, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, and metal-insulator transitions. Our group's studies provide fundamental insights into  atomic dynamics and elementary excitations in condensed-matter systems (phonons, electrons, spins), their couplings and their effects on macroscopic properties. We probe the microscopic underpinnings of transport and thermodynamics properties by integrating neutron and x-ray scattering, optical spectroscopy, and thermal characterization, together with quantum-mechanical computer simulations.

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