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Spin waves and spatially anisotropic exchange interactions in the S=2 stripe antiferromagnet Rb0.8Fe1.5S2


An inelastic neutron scattering study of the spin waves corresponding to the stripe antiferromagnetic order in insulating Rb0.8Fe1.5S2 throughout the Brillouin zone is reported. The spin wave spectra are well described by a Heisenberg Hamiltonian with anisotropic in-plane exchange interactions. Integrating the ordered moment and the spin fluctuations results in a total moment squared of 27.6±4.2μB2/Fe, consistent with S≈2. Unlike XFe2As2 (X=Ca, Sr, and Ba), where the itinerant electrons have a significant contribution, our data suggest that this stripe antiferromagnetically ordered phase in Rb0.8Fe1.5S2 is a Mott-like insulator with fully localized 3d electrons and a high-spin ground state configuration. Nevertheless, the anisotropic exchange couplings appear to be universal in the stripe phase of Fe pnictides and chalcogenides.

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