Unpaired Spin Density in Ordered Fe3Al

Phys. Rev. 123, 1163 – Published 15 August 1961
S. J. Pickart and R. Nathans


A precise determination of the magnetic form factor of the ordered alloy Fe3Al has been made by diffraction of polarized neutrons from a single crystal. Some 43 reflections in the angular range sinθλ0.9 A-1 have been examined and show characteristic departures from a smooth single-valued function, indicating that the unpaired electron density in the unit cell is not spherically symmetric. The data are analyzed in two ways: by comparison with form factors calculated from free-atom Hartree-Fock wave functions including crystal-field splitting effects, and by two-dimensional Fourier projections of the unpaired spin density. The analysis indicates that, while the two types of iron atom in the lattice have similar radial spin densities, their orbital symmetry is different. The results are discussed with reference to various theories of the electronic structure in transition metals.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev.123.1163

  • Received 7 March 1961
  • Published in the issue dated August 1961

© 1961 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

S. J. Pickart

  • U. S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Silver Spring, Maryland and Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York

R. Nathans

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York

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