Orbital ordering as the determinant for ferromagnetism in biferroic BiMnO3

A. Moreira dos Santos, A. K. Cheetham, T. Atou, Y. Syono, Y. Yamaguchi, K. Ohoyama, H. Chiba, C. N.R. Rao

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223 Citations (Scopus)


The ferromagnetic structure of BiMnO3, Tc = 105 K, has been determined from powder neutron-diffraction data collected at 20 K on a sample synthesized at high pressures using a cubic anvil press. BiMnO3 is a distorted perovskite that crystallizes in the monoclinic space group C2 with unit-cell parameters a = 9.5317(7) Å, b = 5.6047(4) Å, c = 9.8492(7) Å, and β = 110.60(1)° (Rp = 6.78%, wRp = 8.53%, reduced X2 = 1.107). Data analysis reveals a collinear ferromagnetic structure with the spin direction along [010] and a magnetic moment of 3.2μB. There is no crystallographic phase transition on cooling the polar room-temperature structure to 20 K, lending support to the belief that ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity coexist in BiMnO3. Careful examination of the six unique Mn-O-Mn superexchange pathways between the three crystallographically independent Mn3+ sites shows that four are ferromagnetic and two are antiferromagnetic, thereby confirming that the ferromagnetism of BiMnO3 stems directly from orbital ordering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064425
Pages (from-to)644251-644254
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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