A quantum spin liquid based on a new three-dimensional lattice
S. Chillal, Y. Iqbal, H. O. Jeschke, J. A. Rodriguez-Rivera, R. Bewley, P. Manuel, D. Khalyavin, P. Steffens, R. Thomale, A. T. M. N. Islam, J. Reuther, and B. Lake
Received: 12th December 17
The quantum spin liquid is a highly entangled magnetic state characterized by the absence of long-range magnetic order or any static magnetism in its ground state. Instead the spins are continuously fluctuating in a highly correlated way down to the lowest temperatures. The spin liquid state is very rare and is confined to a few specific cases where the interactions between the magnetic ions cannot be simultaneously satisfied (known as frustration). In particular, lattices with magnetic ions in triangular or tetrahedral arrangements which interact via isotropic antiferromagnetic interactions can generate frustration because it is impossible to connect all the bonds with magnetic moments that are aligned antiparallel. This leads to highly degenerate ground states between which the magnetic moments fluctuate continuously. Three-dimensional isotropic spin liquids have mostly been sought in materials where the magnetic ions form pyrochlore or hyperkagome lattices. Here we discover a new type of three-dimensional lattice that enables spin liquid behavior called the hyper-hyperkagome lattice which manifests in the compound PbCuTe2O6. Using a combination of experiment and theory we show that this system satisfies all the requirements for a quantum spin liquid including the absence of static magnetism, the presence of a degenerate manifold of ground states, and the characteristic continuum of spinon excitations. This result is important because, it points to new ways to engineer spin liquid behavior.
Read in full at arXiv.
This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.