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J Phys Condens Matter. 2005 Jun 29;17(25):3943-52. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/17/25/020. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Electron paramagnetic resonance study of ZnAl(2)S(4) spinel.

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Physics Department, Fatih University, 34500 Büyükçekmece-Istanbul, Turkey.


Single crystals of ZnAl(2)S(4) spinel doped by paramagnetic Cr(3+) and Mn(2+) ions have been studied by the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) technique. The crystal field symmetry around the impurity ions has been determined from the angular behaviour of X-band EPR spectra. The anisotropic EPR signal of the Cr(3+) ions shows splitting into 31 narrow lines due to the super-hyperfine interaction between unpaired electron spins of the chromium centres and nuclear spins of six neighbouring Al(27) (I = 5/2) ions. It has been established that the Cr(3+) ions are located at the octahedral sites in the spinel structure, and the super-hyperfine interaction results from a weak covalent bounding with the Al atoms. The EPR signals of the Cr(3+) paramagnetic centres show no fine-structure splitting due to a perfectly cubic symmetry of the local crystal field in the octahedral sites of the ZnAl(2)S(4) spinel structure. A weak EPR signal consisting of six components has been ascribed to the transitions between hyperfine levels of the Mn(2+) (I = 5/2,S = 5/2) ions located at tetrahedral sites, while the fine-structure splitting of each component could be resolved only for special orientations of the sample in the external magnetic field. The parameters of the EPR signal of both chromium and manganese centres indicate that there is an essential covalence in the ZnAl(2)S(4) spinel crystal. Very narrow linewidths (∼2 Oe) of the Cr(3+) EPR signal components point to very high homogeneity and quality of the ZnAl(2)S(4) crystals.

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