Using the soft X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) technique, we investigated the magnetic states of the Sm 4f and the Mn 3d moments in a Néel N-type ferrimagnet, SmMnO3, which exhibits a striking magnetocapacitive effect around the compensation temperature (Tcomp ≈ 9.4 K). The XMCD results show that the Sm 4f and the Mn 3d moments were always aligned antiparallel to each other and that, upon sweeping a magnetic field, the angular momenta of Sm 4f and Mn 3d were simultaneously reversed at the field where the magnetocapacitive effect was observed. This indicates that the magnetocapacitive effect of SmMnO3 is induced by a simultaneous reversal of Sm 4f and Mn 3d angular momenta, i.e., magnetization reversal. We discuss a plausible origin of the magnetocapacitive effect in terms of the p-d hybridization mechanism.
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