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Isotope Effect on the Magnetic Properties of Hexamethylbenzene: Evidence of Magnetism Based on Correlated Motion of Deuterons

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2018, 00:00 authored by Fei Yen
The associated magnetic moments of the periodic rotational motion of methyl groups in hexamethylbenzene (C6(CH3)6) were recently identified to contribute to its overall magnetic susceptibility. Those measurements, however, were only performed on hydrogenous polycrystalline samples. We report magnetic susceptibility measurements on single crystalline C6(CH3)6 in the cases where the applied magnetic field is parallel and perpendicular to the molecular basal planes. In the former case, metastable behavior near the onset temperature TC_H = 118 K is identified, while in the latter no anomalous behavior is observed. Similar anomalies are observed in deuterated hexamethylbenzene (C6(CD3)6, where D is deuterium); however, TC_D occurs 14 K higher at 132 K. In addition, a peak anomaly identified near 42 K is suggested to be due to the onset of coherent quantum tunneling of deuterons. The near cubic ground state is proposed to be the result of a more radical form of the Jahn–Teller effect occurring in a molecular solid where the lattice distorts to remove the orbital degeneracies of the protons to lower its energy. The apparent magnetic anisotropy and isotope effect provide evidence that, apart from electrons, not only protons but also deuterons establish strongly correlated behavior.