We have investigated the orbital states of the orbital-glassy (short-range orbital ordered) spinel vanadate Co1.21V1.79O4 using x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), and subsequent configuration-interaction cluster-model calculation. From the sign of the XMCD spectra, it was found that the spin magnetic moment of the Co ion is aligned parallel to the applied magnetic field and that of the V ion antiparallel to it, consistent with neutron scattering studies. It was revealed that the excess Co ions at the octahedral site take the trivalent low-spin state and induce a random potential to the V sublattice. The orbital magnetic moment of the V ion is small, suggesting that the ordered orbitals mainly consist of real-number orbitals.
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