Ferroelectric and Ferromagnetic Alloy Clusters in Molecular Beams
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Ferroelectric and ferromagnetic alloy clusters are produced and studied in molecular beams. Nb clusters doped with 1-3 impurity atoms are ferroelectric with low transition temperatures. The alloy clusters with an even number of valence electrons have larger dipole moments than those with odd number of valence electrons. The ferroelectricity is suppressed by magnetic impurities or thermal excitations, and is enhanced by Au and Al doping. The observations strongly suggest that electron-pairing interactions exist in Nb clusters, which indicates Cooper pairing in clusters. The magnetic moments of Co clusters doped with small fraction of Mn,V and Al are studied and compared with those of the bulk alloys. CoMn alloy clusters have enhanced average magnetic moments with Mn doping, which is opposite to the behavior of bulk CoMn. CoV and CoAl alloy clusters behave similarly to their bulk counterparts. We explain the experimental results using the virtual-bound-state model. Finally, the magnetic properties of BiMn clusters are studied in molecular beams. The Mn local moments are found to couple ferromagnetically or ferrimagnetically depending on the composition of the clusters.