We present novel insight on like-spin domains (LSD) in cooperative spin transition solids by following the photo-transformation and the subsequent relaxation of a [Fe(ptz)6](BF4)2 single crystal in the vicinity of the light-induced instability. Self-organization under light is observed, accompanied by Barkhausen-like noise and jumps which reveal the presence of elastic interactions between LSDs. The light-induced phase separation process is discussed in terms of a dynamic potential providing spinodal instability in the corresponding temperature range. This useful concept is applicable to all types of switchable molecular solids.
The quasi-static nature of a light induced thermal hysteresis was studied on the spin-transition compound [Fe(ptz)6](BF4)2, by means of optical spectroscopy and magnetic measurements in the temperature interval between 10 and 80 K. Various experimental procedures are discussed in relation to the competition between the two processes considered, namely the photoexitation and the high-spinâ†’low-spin relaxation. A detailed discussion of the experimental parameters, which should be considered in order to avoid erroneous interpretations of LITH, is given.