Structure and Magnetism of Second-Layer Solid 3He Films in the Intermediate Regime

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We report a detailed investigation of the second solid layer of 3He adsorbed on graphite in the intermediate coverage range where the magnetic susceptibility displays an evolution from antiferromagnetism to ferromagnetism. Different interpretations have been proposed for the unusual magnetic properties of this system in the narrow coverage region around ρ =20 atoms/nm2 where the Curie temperature vanishes. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a first order structural phase transition occurs in this coverage range. We suggest that heat capacity data do not rule out this interpretation.

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