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Keywords:

  • glass;
  • manganites;
  • multiferroics;
  • phase transitions

Phase-coexistence in the manganese-oxide compounds or manganites with colossal magneto-resistance (CMR) has been generally considered to be an inhomogeneous ground state. An alternative explanation of phase-coexistence as the manifestation of a disorder-broadened first-order magnetic phase transition being interrupted by the glass-like arrest of kinetics is now gradually gaining ground. This kinetic arrest of a first-order phase transitions, between two states with long-range magnetic order, has actually been observed in various other classes of magnetic materials in addition to the CMR manganites. The underlying common features of this kinetic arrest of a first-order phase transition are discussed in terms of the phenomenology of glasses. The possible manifestations of such glass-like arrested states across disorder-influenced first-order phase transitions in dielectric solids and in multiferroic materials, are also discussed.