Spin quenching assisted by a strongly anisotropic compression behavior in MnP

Fei Han, Di Wang, Yonggang Wang, Nana Li, Jin Ke Bao, Bing Li, Antia S. Botana, Yuming Xiao, Paul Chow, Duck Young Chung, Jiuhua Chen, Xiangang Wan, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Wenge Yang, Ho Kwang Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We studied the crystal structure and spin state of MnP under high pressure with synchrotron x-ray diffraction and x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES). MnP has an exceedingly strong anisotropy in compressibility, with the primary compressible direction along the b axis of the Pnma structure. XES reveals a pressure-driven quenching of the spin state in MnP. First-principles calculations suggest that the strongly anisotropic compression behavior significantly enhances the dispersion of the Mn d-orbitals and the splitting of the d-orbital levels compared to the hypothetical isotropic compression behavior. Thus, we propose spin quenching results mainly from the significant enhancement of the itinerancy of d electrons and partly from spin rearrangement occurring in the split d-orbital levels near the Fermi level. This explains the fast suppression of magnetic ordering in MnP under high pressure. The spin quenching lags behind the occurrence of superconductivity at ∼8 GPa implying that spin fluctuations govern the electron pairing for superconductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023012
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • high pressure
  • spin state
  • structural distortion
  • superconductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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