3d-4f intermetalic compounds with heavy rare-earth elements show first-order phase transitions in high magnetic fields due to the competition between the exchange interaction and the magnetocrystalline anisotropy. However, the microscopic picture of the field-induced noncollinear magnetic structures remains elusive. Here we report the direct experimental observation of the coherent stepwise rotation of the 3d and 4f magnetic moments of the uniaxial hard ferrimagnet TmFe5Al7 by using soft x-ray magnetic circular dichroism in pulsed magnetic fields up to 25 T. The element- and shell-selective moments show a transition from the collinear ferrimagnet toward the forced ferromagnetic state via a canted phase, which is explained by a two-sublattice model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics