We show that a simple two-dimensional model of spin crossover materials gives rise to spin-state smectic phases where the pattern of high-spin (HS) and low-spin (LS) metal centers spontaneously breaks rotational symmetry and translational symmetry in one direction only. The spin-state smectics are distinct thermodynamic phases and give rise to plateaus in the fraction of HS metal centers. Smectic order leads to lines of Bragg peaks in the x-ray and neutron scattering structure factors. We identify two smectic phases and show that both are ordered in one direction, but disordered in the other, and hence that their residual entropy scales with the linear dimension of the system. This is intermediate to spin-state ices (examples of “spin-state liquids”) where the residual entropy scales with the system volume, and antiferroelastic ordered phases (examples of “spin-state crystals”) where the residual entropy is independent of the size of the system.
Spin-state smectics in spin crossover materials
Note: This paper is part of the Special Topic on Spin Transition Materials: Molecular and Solid-State.
J. Cruddas, G. Ruzzi, B. J. Powell; Spin-state smectics in spin crossover materials. J. Appl. Phys. 14 May 2021; 129 (18): 185102. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0045763
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