Proton N.M.R. study of the dynamics of the ammonium ion in ferroelectric langbeinite, (NH4)2Cd2(SO4)3

McDowell, C. A. ; Raghunathan, P. ; Srinivasan, R. (1975) Proton N.M.R. study of the dynamics of the ammonium ion in ferroelectric langbeinite, (NH4)2Cd2(SO4)3 Molecular Physics, 29 (3). pp. 815-824. ISSN 0026-8976

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The proton N.M.R. lineshape of polycrystalline Langbeinite, (NH4)2Cd2(SO4)3, has been studied in the temperature range 300 K to 1·8 K. The resonance line is motionally narrowed over the entire temperature range, and the low temperature proton line shows clear evidence for tunnelling motion of the ammonium ion between spin-symmetry states. From a computer simulation of the lineshape, we obtain an estimate for the tunnelling splitting parameter, J, of the torsional ground state of the ammonium ion, as 375±125 gauss. For an undistorted tetrahedral crystal field this corresponds to a tunnelling splitting Δ=4J=6·3±2·1 MHz. Pulsed proton N.M.R. studies have also been carried out on the above compound at 30·8 MHz and 48·2 MHz and the spin-lattice relaxation time (T1) has been measured by the π-t-π/2 pulse sequence as a function of temperature down to 77 K. At 30·8 MHz, a T1 minimum of 13 ms occurs at 105·8 K, and is ascribed to random reorientations of the NH4+ ion. An activational energy barrier of 0·74±0·1 kcal/mole and an associated pre-exponential factor of 8·0×10-13s are calculated for the above motional process, and the value of the activation energy is correlated with the tunnelling splitting of the torsional ground state. An anomaly in T1 has been observed at the ferroelectric Curie point (95 K), indicating the order-disorder nature of the transition. This is the first experimental evidence relating to the nature of the transition in Langbeinite.

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