Detailed investigation of Ca2CoSi2O7 was performed in its low-temperature magnetoelectric state combining neutron diffraction with magnetization measurements on single crystals. The crystal and magnetic structures well below the antiferromagnetic transition temperature of TN≈5.7 K were determined using neutron diffraction. Neutron diffraction data imply no structural phase transition from 10 K down to 2.5 K and are well described within the orthorhombic space group P21212 with a 3×3×1 supercell compared with the high-temperature unmodulated state (tetragonal space group P421m). We found that in zero magnetic field the magnetic space group is P2121′2′ with antiferromagnetic order along the  or  axes for two types of 90 twin domains, while neighboring spins along the  axis are ordered ferromagnetically. A noncollinear spin arrangement due to small canting within the ab plane is allowed by symmetry and leads to the existence of the tiny spontaneous magnetization below TN. The ordered moment with a magnitude of about 2.8 μB/Co2+ at 2.5 K lies in the ab plane. Distinct differences between the magnetic structure of Ca2CoSi2O7 as compared to those of Ba2CoGe2O7 and Sr2CoSi2O7 are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics