Block Spin Magnetic Phase Transition of A$_y$Fe$_{1.6}$Se$_2$ Under High Pressure

Physics – Condensed Matter – Superconductivity

Scientific paper

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Submitted version. Typos corrected; modified to comply with the length requirement; figure legends have been replaced to be in

Scientific paper

We predict an unconventional magnetic ground state in A$_y$Fe$_{1.6}$Se$_2$ with $\sqrt{5}\times\sqrt{5}$ Fe-vacancy superstructure under hydraulic external pressure based on first-principles simulations. While the Fe-vacancy ordering persists up to at least $\sim $ 12GPa, the magnetic ground state goes at $\sim$10GPa from the BS-AFM phase to a N{\'e}el-FM phase, a ferromagnetic arrangement of a "{\it{N{\'e}el cluster}}". The new magnetic phase is metallic, and the BS-AFM to N{\'e}el-FM phase transition is accompanied by a sizable structural change. The two distinct magnetic phases can be understood within the extended $J_1$-$J_2$ Heisenberg model by assuming a pressure-tuned competition between the intrablock and interblock nearest-neighbor couplings of iron moments.

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