Tables for
Volume C
Mathematical, physical and chemical tables
Edited by E. Prince

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. C, ch. 2.8, pp. 124-125

Section 2.8.4. Investigation of magnetic domains and magnetic phase transitions

M. Schlenkera and J. Baruchelb

al'Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, Laboratoire Louis Néel du CNRS, BP 166, F-38042 Grenoble CEDEX 9, France, and bExperiment Division, ESRF, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble CEDEX, France

2.8.4. Investigation of magnetic domains and magnetic phase transitions

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The strong contribution of electronic magnetic moments in materials to neutron diffraction [item (d) in Section 2.8.1[link]] makes magnetic neutron scattering a unique tool in determining magnetic structures on the unit-cell level. When a single-crystal specimen contains regions with different magnetic structures, i.e. magnetic domains or coexisting phases with different magnetic structures, they will be imaged because of the local variations in structure amplitude, and hence in diffracted intensity, they entail. Ferromagnetic domains can be imaged by neutron topography (Schlenker & Shull, 1973[link]). This is of restricted value because so many other and more efficient techniques are available, albeit not for observations in the bulk. But neutron topography is the only method available to visualize antiferromagnetic domains of various kinds. The pioneering work by Ando & Hosoya (1972[link], Ando & Hosoya, 1978[link]) and Davidson, Werner & Arrott (1974[link]) showed spin-density wave domains in antiferromagnetic chromium. Chirality domains (right/left-handed helix in helimagnets), as well as 180° antiferromagnetic domains, could also be observed for the first time using polarized neutron topography (Baruchel, Schlenker & Palmer, 1990[link]). Neutron topography is also a valuable tool in the investigation of the coexistence of different magnetic phases, for example heli- and ferromagnetic, at a first-order phase transition, which can be driven either by temperature changes or by applying a magnetic field (Baruchel, 1989[link]).


Ando, M. & Hosoya, S. (1972). Q-switch and polarization domains in antiferromagnetic chromium observed with neutron diffraction topography. Phys. Rev. Lett. 29, 281–285.
Ando, M. & Hosoya, S. (1978). Size and behavior of antiferromagnetic domains in Cr directly observed with X-ray and neutron topography. J. Appl. Phys. 49, 6045–6051.
Baruchel, J. (1989). The contribution of neutron and synchrotron radiation topography to the investigation of first-order magnetic phase transitions. Phase Transit. 14, 21–29.
Baruchel, J., Schlenker, M. & Palmer, S. B. (1990). Neutron diffraction topographic investigations of `exotic' magnetic domains. Nondestr. Test. Eval. 5, 349–367.
Davidson, J. B., Werner, S. & Arrott, A. S. (1974). Neutron microscopy of spin density wave domains in chromium. AIP Conf. Proc., edited by C. D. Graham & J. J. Rhyne, Vol. 18, pp. 396–400.
Schlenker, M. & Shull, C. G. (1973). Polarized neutron techniques for the observation of ferromagnetic domains. J. Appl. Phys. 44, 4181–4184.

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