Anand, V.K.; Abernathy, D.L.; Adroja, D.T.; Hillier, A.D.; Biswas, P.K.; Lake, B.: Muon spin relaxation and inelastic neutron scattering investigations of the all-in/all-out antiferromagnet Nd2Hf2O7. Physical Review B 95 (2017), p. 224420/1-9
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Nd2Hf2O7, belonging to the family of geometrically frustrated cubic rare-earth pyrochlore oxides, was recently identified to order antiferromagnetically below TN ~ 0.55 K with an all-in/all-out arrangement of Nd3+ moments, however, with a much reduced ordered state moment. Herein, we investigate the spin dynamics and crystal-field states of Nd2Hf2O7 using muon spin relaxation (muSR) and inelastic neutron scattering (INS) measurements. Our muSR study confirms the long-range magnetic ordering and shows evidence for coexisting persistent dynamic spin fluctuations deep inside the ordered state down to 42 mK. The INS data show the crystal electric field (CEF) excitations due to the transitions both within the ground-state multiplet and to the first excited state multiplet. The INS data are analyzed by a model based on CEF and crystal-field states are determined. Strong Ising-type anisotropy is inferred from the ground-state wave function. The CEF parameters indicate the CEF-split Kramers doublet ground state of Nd3+ to be consistent with the dipolar-octupolar character.