We explore remanent magnetization (μ) as a function of time and temperature, in a variety of rhombohedral antiferromagnets (AFMs) which are also weak ferromagnets (WFMs) and piezomagnets (PzMs). These measurements, across samples with length scales ranging from nano to bulk, firmly establish the presence of a remanence that is quasistatic in nature and exhibits a counterintuitive magnetic field dependence. These observations unravel an ultraslow magnetization relaxation phenomenon related to this quasistatic remanence. This feature is also observed in a defect-free single crystal of α-Fe2O3, which is a canonical WFM and PzM. Notably, α-Fe2O3 is not a typical geometrically frustrated AFM, and in single crystal form it is also devoid of any size or interface effects, which are the usual suspects for a slow magnetization relaxation phenomenon. The underlying pinning mechanism appears exclusive to those AFMs which either are symmetry allowed WFMs, driven by Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, or can generate this trait by tuning of size and interface. The qualitative features of the quasistatic remanence indicate that such WFMs are potential piezomagnets, in which magnetization can be tuned by stress alone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics