Critical reexamination of resonant soft x-ray Bragg forbidden reflections in magnetite

S.B. Wilkins, S. Matteo, Di, T.A.W. Beale, Y. Joly, C. Mazzoli, P.D. Hatton, P. Bencok, F. Yakhou, V.A.M. Brabers

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Magnetite, Fe3 O4, displays a highly complex low-temperature crystal structure that may be charge and orbitally ordered. Many of the recent experimental claims of such ordering rely on resonant soft x-ray diffraction at the oxygen K and iron L edges. We have reexamined this system and undertaken soft x-ray diffraction experiments on a high-quality single crystal. Contrary to previous claims in the literature, we show that the intensity observed at the Bragg forbidden (00 1 2) c reflection can be explained purely in terms of the low-temperature structural displacements around the resonant atoms. This does not necessarily mean that magnetite is not charge or orbitally ordered but rather that the present sensitivity of resonant soft x-ray experiments does not allow conclusive demonstration of such ordering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number201102
Pages (from-to)201102-1/4
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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