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Starting from the Hamiltonian operator of the noncompensated two-sublattice model of a small antiferromagnetic particle, we derive the e effective Lagrangian of a biaxial antiferromagnetic particle in an external magnetic field with the help of spin-coherent-state path integrals. Two unequal level-shifts induced by tunneling through two types of barriers are obtained using the instanton method. The energy spectrum is found from Bloch theory regarding the periodic potential as a superlattice. The external magnetic field indeed removes Kramers' degeneracy, however a new quenching of the energy splitting depending on the applied magnetic field is observed for both integer and half-integer spins due to the quantum interference between transitions through two types of barriers.

Abstact. The tunnel splitting in biaxial antiferromagnetic particles is studied with a magnetic field applied along the hard anisotropy axis. We observe the oscillation of tunnel splitting as a function of the magnetic field due to the quantum phase interference of two tunneling paths of opposite windings. The oscillation is similar to the recent experimental result with Fe8 molecular clusters.