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Complex magnetic properties of the rare-earth copper oxides, R2CuO4, observed via measurements of the dc and ac magnetization, EPR, microwave magnetoabsorption, and specific heat.


We report the results of an extensive investigation of the magnetic properties of a large series of undoped R2CuO4 single crystals with R==Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, and Gd (which are the host compounds for the newly discovered series of electron cuprate superconductors) and mixture versions of the form A2-xBxCuO4, with A==Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, or Gd, and B==Gd, Tb, or Dy. We have measured dc and ac magnetization, microwave magnetoabsorption, EPR, and specific heat. These measurements reveal two characteristic transition temperatures associated with a novel complex magnetic behavior, including weak ferromagnetism, two sharp peaks in the low-field dc magnetization, an unusual anisotropy in the EPR resonance field for R=Gd, and two additional anisotropic microwave absorption modes. The higher characteristic transition temeperature at 270 K is associated with antiferromagnetic ordering of the Cu moments which are strongly coupled within the CuO2 layers. The lower, at 20 K, cannot be attributed to antiferromagnetic ordering of the R moments and is tentatively attributed to a spontaneous canted spin reorientation. An understanding of this magnetic behavior is important in order to ascertain its relationship to possible mechanisms of high-temperature superconductivity. © 1990 The American Physical Society.

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