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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Dec 7;109(23):237202. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Ground state in a half-doped manganite distinguished by neutron spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, OX1 3PU, United Kingdom.


We have measured the spin-wave spectrum of the half-doped bilayer manganite Pr(Ca,Sr)(2)Mn(2)O(7) in its spin, charge, and orbital ordered phase. The measurements, which extend throughout the Brillouin zone and cover the entire one-magnon spectrum, are compared critically with spin-wave calculations for different models of the electronic ground state. The data are described very well by the Goodenough model, which has weakly interacting ferromagnetic zig-zag chains in the CE-type arrangement. A model that allows ferromagnetic dimers to form within the zigzags is inconsistent with the data. The analysis conclusively rules out the strongly bound dimer (Zener polaron) model.

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