A variable temperature study of the crystal and magnetic structures of the giant magnetoresistant materials LnMnAsO (Ln = La, Nd)
A variable temperature neutron and synchrotron diffraction study have been performed on the giant magnetoresistant oxypnictides LnMnAsO (Ln = La, Nd). The low temperature magnetic structures have been studied and results show a spin reorientation of the Mn2+ spins below TN (Nd) for NdMnAsO. The Mn2+ spins rotate from alignment along c to alignment into the basal plane and the Mn2+ and Nd3+ moments refine to 3.54(4) μ B and 1.93(4) μ B respectively at 2 K. In contrast there is no change in magnetic structure with temperature for LaMnAsO. There is no evidence of a structural transition down to 2 K, however discontinuities in the cell volume, Ln-O and Mn-As bond lengths are detected at ∼ 150 K for both materials. This temperature coincides with the electronic transition previously reported and suggests a coupling between electronic and lattice degrees of freedom.