Manna, K.; Samal, D.; Bera, A.K.; Elizabeth, S.; Yusuf, S.M.; Kumar, P.S.A.: Correspondence between neutron depolarization and higher order magnetic susceptibility to investigate ferromagnetic clusters in phase separated systems. Journal of Physics / Condensed Matter 26 (2014), p. 016002/1-9

It is a tough task to distinguish a short-range ferromagnetically correlated cluster-glass phase from a canonical spin-glass-like phase in many magnetic oxide systems using conventional magnetometry measurements. As a case study, we investigate the magnetic ground state of La0.85Sr0.15CoO3, which is often debated based on phase separation issues. We report the results of two samples of La0.85Sr0.15CoO3 (S-1 and S-2) prepared under different conditions. Neutron depolarization, higher harmonic ac susceptibility and magnetic relaxation studies were carried out along with conventional magnetometry measurements to differentiate subtle changes at the microscopic level. There is no evidence of ferromagnetic correlation in the sample S-2 attributed to a spin-glass phase, and this is compounded by the lack of existence of a second order component of higher harmonic ac susceptibility and neutron depolarization. A magnetic relaxation experiment at different temperatures complements the spin glass characteristic in S-2. All these signal a sharp variance when we consider the cluster-glass-like phase (phase separated) in S-1, especially when prepared from an improper chemical synthesis process. This shows that the nonlinear ac susceptibility is a viable tool to detect ferromagnetic clusters such as those the neutron depolarization study can reveal.