Lattice instability and magnetic phase transitions in strongly correlated MnAs

Valeri Petkov, Adeel Zafar, Durga R. Tadisetti, Milinda AM Abeykoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using variable temperature x-ray total scattering in magnetic field, we study the interaction between lattice and magnetic degrees of freedom in MnAs, which loses its ferromagnetic order and hexagonal (‘H’) lattice symmetry at 318 K to recover the latter and become a true paramagnet when the temperature is increased to 400 K. Our results show that the 318 K transition is accompanied by highly anisotropic displacements of Mn atoms that appear as a lattice degree of freedom bridging the ‘H’ and orthorhombic phases of MnAs. This is a rare example of a lowering of an average crystal symmetry due to an increased displacive disorder emerging on heating. Our results also show that magnetic and lattice degrees of freedom appear coupled but not necessarily equivalent control variables for triggering phase transitions in strongly correlated systems in general and in particular in MnAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number315401
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 9 2023


  • instability
  • lattice
  • local structure
  • magnetic
  • phase
  • transitions


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