Energetic stabilization of the Mizoguchi structure for magnetite by band-structure effects
We show that the Mizoguchi structure is energetically stabilized over the Verwey structure for magnetite by electron hopping on the B sublattice. We use the one-band Cullen-Callen model Hamiltonian for the electronic band structure taking the nearest-neighbor and the second-neighbor Coulomb interactions, U1 and U2, into account. There is a competition between the Coulomb and the band-structure energies. The Coulomb energy tends to favor the Verwey structure while the band-structure energy tends to favor the Mizoguchi structure. We find that for U1≲0.25 eV, the kinetic-energy (band-structure energy) term dominates making the Mizoguchi structure energetically favorable over the Verwey structure. For a larger value of U1, the band-structure effect alone is insufficient, making it necessary to invoke other mechanisms such as the electron-phonon coupling earlier proposed by other authors, to stabilize the Mizoguchi structure. The energy of a single ''reversed-ring'' excitation in the Mizoguchi structure is calculated to be of the order of a few meV. The small energy is consistent with Cullen's explanation of the absence of cell doubling in the Ca plane as observed in diffraction experiments. The Mizoguchi order is unstable with respect to the formation of reversed-ring excitations if only U1 is present, but is stabilized by a small value of U2.
Phys. Rev. B 47, 5564-5570 (1993)