Magnetic phase separation in the EuPdSn2 ground state
The chemical bonding, structural and magnetic properties of EuPdSn2 have been investigated by DFT, synchrotron X-ray and neutron powder diffraction and 151Eu Mössbauer spectroscopy. As a result, no structural transition is observed in the thermal range of 5–290 K, whereas ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic orderings are found to coexist below 12 K and compete in the ground state. This magnetic phase separation is likely triggered by the minimization of the global energy resulting from the coexistence of the different magnetic configurations. Chemical bonding analysis in position space reveals the presence of heteroatomic 4a- and 5a-bonds, involving each species, and two-atomic Eu–Pd polar covalent interactions building up graphite-like distorted honeycomb layers.