Evolution of magnetism in iron from the atom to the bulk

Murilo L. Tiago, Yunkai Zhou, M. M.G. Alemany, Yousef Saad, James R. Chelikowsky

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The evolution of the magnetic moment in iron clusters containing 20â€"400 atoms is investigated using first-principles numerical calculations based on density-functional theory and real-space pseudopotentials. Three families of clusters are studied, characterized by the arrangement of atoms: icosahedral, body-centered cubic centered on an atom site, and body-centered cubic centered on the bridge between two neighboring atoms. We find an overall decrease of magnetic moment as the clusters grow in size towards the bulk limit. Clusters with faceted surfaces are predicted to have magnetic moment lower than other clusters with similar size. As a result, the magnetic moment is observed to decrease as function of size in a nonmonotonic manner, which explains measurements performed at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number147201
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2006


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