• 63.20.kk;
  • 75.30.Et;
  • 75.40.Cx;
  • 75.50.Ee;
  • 75.50.Pp;
  • 75.80.+q


Recent results in physics and technology of ternary magnetic oxide and chalcogenide spinels AB2X4 (A = Fe, Mn, Co, Cd, Zn, Hg; B = Cr, Co, Sc, Al; X = O, S, Se) are reviewed. Using magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, thermal expansion, electron-spin resonance, neutron diffraction, broad-band dielectric spectroscopy, and infrared optical spectroscopy, the spin, charge, orbital, and lattice correlations in these compounds were investigated. The novel magnetic ground states, e.g., spin liquid, spin–orbital liquid, and orbital glass, and in triguing effects, like colossal magnetocapacitive coupling, negative thermal expansion, and spin-driven Jahn–Teller structural transformations were revealed. In considering the origin of these phenomena, the concept of geometrical and bond frustration is explored. It relates the interplay of charge, spin, and orbital degrees of freedom with the inherent topological frustration and competing exchange interactions between the magnetic ions. (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)