We present a comprehensive study of the low-temperature magnetic relaxation in random magnets. The first part of the paper contains theoretical analysis of the expected features of the relaxation, based upon current theories of quantum tunneling of magnetization. Models of tunneling, dissipation, the crossover from the thermal to the quantum regime, and the effect of barrier distribution on the relaxation rate are discussed. It is argued that relaxation-type experiments are ideally suited for the observation of magnetic tunneling, since they automatically provide the condition of very low barriers. The second part of the paper contains experimental results on transition-metal-rare-earth amorphous magnets. Structural and magnetic characterization of materials is presented. The temperature and field dependence of the magnetic relaxation is studied. Our key observation is a nonthermal character of the relaxation below a few kelvin. The observed features are in agreement with theoretical suggestions on quantum tunneling of magnetization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics