Magnetoelastic effects in multiferroic HoMnO3

  • a Institut Laue-Langevin, B.P. 156, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

  • b European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, B.P. 220, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

  • c Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata 700032, India


We have refined the crystal and magnetic structures of multiferroic HoMnO3 in very small temperature steps in the temperature range 2–300 K.

We have observed considerable magnetoelastic effect around the magnetic ordering temperatures.

We have determined all the lattice strains due to magnetostriction.

We could not however detect any small shifts in the atomic positions due to the magnetoelastic effects.


We have investigated magnetoelastic effects in multiferroic HoMnO3 below the antiferromagnetic phase transition View the MathML source by neutron powder diffraction. The lattice parameter a of the hexagonal unit cell of HoMnO3 decrease in the usual way at lower temperatures and then shows abrupt contraction below TN whereas the lattice parameter c increases continuously with decreasing temperature and shows an anomalous increase below TN. The unit cell volume decreases continuously with decreasing temperature and undergoes abrupt contraction below TN. By fitting the background thermal expansion for a nonmagnetic lattice with the Einstein–Grüneisen equation we determined the lattice strains Δa, Δc and ΔV due to the magnetoelastic effects as a function of temperature. We have also determined the temperature variation of the ordered magnetic moment of Mn ion by fitting the measured Bragg intensities of the nuclear and magnetic reflections with the known crystal and magnetic structure models