Magnetic and Orbital Order in LaMnO$_3$ under Uniaxial Strain: A Model Study

Nanda, B. R. K.
Satpathy, S.
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The effect of uniaxial strain on electronic structure and magnetism in LaMnO$_3$ is studied from a model Hamiltonian that illustrates the competition between the Jahn-Teller, super exchange, and double exchange interactions. We retain in our model the three main octahedral distortions ($Q_1, Q_2$, and $Q_3$), which couple to the Mn $(e_g)$ electrons. Our results show the ground state to be a type A antiferromagnetic (AFM) insulating state for the unstrained case, consistent with experiments. With tensile strain (stretching along the c axis), the ground state changes into a ferromagnetic and eventually into a type G$^\prime$ AFM structure, while with compressive strain, we find the type A switching into a type G structure. The orbital ordering, which displays the well known checkerboard $x^2-1 / y^2-1$ structure for the unstrained case, retains more or less the same character for compressive strain, while changing into the $z^2-1$ character for tensile strains. While $Q_1$ and $Q_3$ are fixed by the strain components $\varepsilon_{xx}$ and $\varepsilon_{zz}$ in our model, the magnitude of the in-plane distortion mode (Q$_2$), which varies to minimize the total energy, slowly diminishes with tensile strain, completely disappearing as the FM state is entered. Within our model, the FM state is metallic, while the three AFM states are insulating.
Comment: 8 pages, 9 figures
Condensed Matter - Materials Science