The prime interest for us is the interplay between the dimensionality of the lattice (spatial dimensionality) and of the spins involved (Ising, XY or Heisenberg, the spin dimensionality). As we mix spin types, or dilute the magnetic lattice, the magnetic ordering changes in a very complex way. Interacting spins act as excellent model systems for many types of theoretical calculations, while being interesting in themselves.
By manipulating the composition, applied magnetic field and temperature, the range of magnetic phases possible in the system can be explored.
Main tools are magnetometry, neutron diffraction, and sample manufacture. The Mn site can have other transition metals substituted onto it, while Se and (possibly) Te can be substituted in for S. Further, intercalation can be used to push the 2-d magnetic layers apart, acting a further means of tuning the properties. This is most interesting in that the family of materials can act as hosts for optically active molecules, offering the possibility of optically switchable functional materials.
Related publications include:
D.J.Goossens, 'Dipolar anisotropy in quasi-2D honeycomb antiferromagnet MnPS3', European Physical Journal B, 78 (2010) 305-309. DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2010-10569-x
D.J.Goossens, A.R.Wildes, C.Ritter and T.J.Hicks, 'Order and the nature of the spin flop phase transition in MnPS3', Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 12 (2000) 1845--1854.
D.J.Goossens, A.J.Studer, S.J.Kennedy and T.J.Hicks, 'The impact of magnetic dilution on magnetic order in MnPS3', Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 12 (2000) 4233 4242.