Peierls distortion, magnetism, and high hardness of manganese tetraboride

Huiyang Gou, Alexander A. Tsirlin, Elena Bykova, Artem M. Abakumov, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Asta Richter, Sergey V. Ovsyannikov, Alexander V. Kurnosov, Dmytro M. Trots, Zuzana Konôpková, Hans Peter Liermann, Leonid Dubrovinsky, Natalia Dubrovinskaia

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47 Citations (Scopus)


We report crystal structure, electronic structure, and magnetism of manganese tetraboride, MnB4, synthesized under high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. In contrast to superconducting FeB4 and metallic CrB4, which are both orthorhombic, MnB4 features a monoclinic crystal structure. Its lower symmetry originates from a Peierls distortion of the Mn chains. This distortion nearly opens the gap at the Fermi level, but despite the strong dimerization and the proximity of MnB4 to the insulating state, we find indications for a sizable paramagnetic effective moment of about 1.7 μB/f.u., ferromagnetic spin correlations, and, even more surprisingly, a prominent electronic contribution to the specific heat. However, no magnetic order has been observed in standard thermodynamic measurements down to 2 K. Altogether, this renders MnB4 a structurally simple but microscopically enigmatic material; we argue that its properties may be influenced by electronic correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064108
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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