Extended solid-state materials based on the hexagonal perovskite framework are typified by close competition between localized magnetic interactions and quasi-molecular electronic states. Here, we report the structural and magnetic properties of the new six-layer hexagonal perovskite Ba3CaMo2O9. Neutron diffraction experiments, combined with magnetic susceptibility measurements, show that the Mo2O9 dimers retain localized character down to 5 K and adopt nonmagnetic spin-singlet ground states. This is in contrast to the recently reported Ba3SrMo2O9 analogue, in which the Mo2O9 dimers spontaneously separate into a mixture of localized and quasi-molecular ground states. Structural distortions in both Ba3CaMo2O9 and Ba3SrMo2O9 have been studied with the aid of distortion mode analyses to elucidate the coupling between the crystal lattice and electronic interactions in 6H Mo5+ hexagonal perovskites.
The authors declare no competing financial interest.
We thank the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for a PhD Scholarship for S.S. and the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for provision of neutron beamtime at the ILL under the experiment code 5-31-2703.