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Materials Today Physics


Nickel (II) oxide is a prominent candidate for spintronic and spin-caloritronic applications operating at room temperature. Although there are extensive studies on nickel oxide, the roles of magnon- and spin-phonon interactions on thermal transport are not well understood. In the present work, the relationship between spin-phonon interactions and thermal transport is investigated by performing inelastic neutron scattering, time-domain thermoreflectance thermal conductivity measurements, and atomistic thermal transport calculations. Inelastic neutron scattering measurements of the magnon lifetime imply that magnon thermal conductivity is trivial, and so heat is conducted only by phonons. Time-domain thermoreflectance measurements of the thermal conductivity vs. temperature follow T-1.5 in the antiferromagnetic phase. This temperature dependence cannot be explained by phonon-isotope and phonon-defect scattering or phonon softening. Instead, we attribute this to magnon-phonon scattering and spin-induced dynamic symmetry breaking. The spin-phonon interactions are saturated in the paramagnetic phase and lead to a weaker temperature dependence of T−1.0 at 550–700 K. These results reveal the importance of spin-phonon interactions on lattice thermal transport, shedding light on the engineering of functional antiferromagnetic spintronic and spin-caloritronic materials through these interactions.


This work is a preprint that is freely available courtesy of SSRN and Elsevier. The final published version is available online.

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