Skip to main content
Research Highlight | Materials Science Division

Spin stripe order in a square planar trilayer nickelate

In a study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers reported single crystal neutron diffraction measurements that establish that the ground state is indeed magnetic.

Scientific Achievement

Single crystal neutron scattering definitively reveals antiferromagnetic spin stripes that are commensurate with and strongly coupled to charge stripes at a semiconductor-insulator transition in La4Ni3O8.

Significance and Impact

Understanding the coupling between charge and spin is key in the exploration of potential high-TC physics in copper-free oxides.

Research Details

  • Both polarized and unpolarized single crystal neutron diffraction, were performed on La4Ni3O8 with triple-axis instruments at HFIR and NIST Center for Neutron Research.
  • The semiconductor to insulator transition is accompanied by simultaneous charge and antiferromagnetic spin stripe order that occurs within square planar, Ni-O trilayers.
  • Both experiment and density functional theory calculations indicate that spins point along the c‑axis, in contrast to cuprates.
  • The spin and charge stripe order parameters are strongly coupled; uniquely, neither order parameter is secondary to the other.


Download this highlight

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.