How many spin liquids are there in Ca10Cr7O28?

Rico Pohle, Han Yan, and Nic Shannon

Dec 11, 2017

Received: 21st November 17

The search for novel phases of matter is a central theme of modern physics, with some of the most intriguing examples provided by the spin liquids found in magnets with competing, or "frustrated'' interactions. Ca10Cr7O28, a novel spin-1/2 magnet with a bilayer breathing-kagome lattice, has properties which differ from from any known spin liquid. However, understanding Ca10Cr7O28 presents a significant challenge, because of its complex frustration. Here we use large-scale molecular-dynamics simulation to explore the origin of spin-liquid behaviour in Ca10Cr7O28. We uncover qualitatively different behaviour on different timescales, and argue that ground state of Ca10Cr7O28 is born out of a slowly-fluctuating "spiral spin liquid'', while faster fluctuations echo the U(1) spin liquid found in the kagome antiferromagnet. These results provide a concrete scenario for spin-liquid behaviour in Ca10Cr7O28, and highlight the possibility of spin liquids existing on multiple timescales.

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