Magnetism of small Cr clusters: interplay between structure, magnetic order, and electron correlations
Ruíz Díaz, Pedro
Ricardo Chávez, José Luis
Dorantes Dávila, Jesús Gerardo
"The magnetic properties of small Cr-N clusters (N <= 6) are investigated in the framework of density-functional theory. The interplay between electron correlations, cluster structure, and magnetic order is quantified by performing fully spin-unrestricted calculations allowing for noncollinear spin arrangements within both the local-spin-density approximation (LSDA) and the generalized-gradient approximation (GGA). The possible transition or saddle-point states are identified by determining the vibrational frequencies from diagonalizing the dynamical matrix. In agreement with previous studies, a dimer-based growth pattern is found in all considered low-lying isomers with very short equilibrium bond lengths (typically d(eq)(GGA)=1.55-1.65 angstrom) alternating with relative long ones (typically d(eq)(GGA)=2.75-2.85 angstrom) in the relaxed geometries. Strong local magnetic moments (mu) over right arrow (i) are, in general, obtained for the relaxed geometries (e.g., vertical bar mu(GGA)(i)vertical bar similar or equal to 2 mu(B) in Cr-4), which show a collinear magnetic order with antiparallel (parallel) alignment of the (mu) over right arrow (i) along the short (long) bonds. In contrast to the GGA, the LSDA yields vanishing magnetization density in some cases (vertical bar mu(LSDA)(i)vertical bar=0 for all i for N=2 and 4). Despite quantitative differences, both LSDA and GGA functionals always yield collinear ground-state solutions for the fully relaxed structures. In fact, noncollinear spin arrangements are found only for particular symmetric (nondimerized) geometries. However, the structures are not local minima and involve considerably large excitation energies. The results clearly indicate that the magnetic frustration, which one would physically expect in compact antiferromagnetic spin systems, is solved by dimerization rather than by noncollinearity of the local moments."