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J Phys Condens Matter. 2011 Jan 12;23(1):016002. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/23/1/016002. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Magnetism of PrAl₂ nanoparticle investigated with a quantum simulation model.

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  • 1Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, People's Republic of China.


For many years, micromagnetism and Monte Carlo simulation have served as the two main tools for studying the magnetic structures and physical properties of nanomagnets. However, the two approaches are based on classical physics, and thus lack the flexibility to deal with complex nanosystems, such as those of very tiny size or consisting of ions of different elements. To overcome the difficulty, a quantum simulation model has been proposed and a new computational algorithm developed in the present work. Both have been successfully applied to an assumed PrAl₂ nanoparticle to study its magnetic behavior in external magnetic fields exerted along the crystal axes. The theoretical results obtained with the model and the new algorithm are reasonable physically and exhibit strong finite-size effects. The model can be generalized to study the magnetic configurations and physical properties of more complicated nanosystems, such as nanowires, nanotubes, etc.

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