Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3
npj Quantum Materials
Nature Publishing Group
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Banerjee, A., Lampen-Kelley, P., Knolle, J., Balz, C., Aczel, A., Winn, B., Liu, Y., et al. (2018). Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3. npj Quantum Materials, 3 (8)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2
The celebrated Kitaev quantum spin liquid (QSL) is the paradigmatic example of a topological magnet with emergent excitations in the form of Majorana Fermions and gauge fluxes. Upon breaking of time-reversal symmetry, for example in an external magnetic field, these fractionalized quasiparticles acquire non-Abelian exchange statistics, an important ingredient for topologically protected quantum computing. Consequently, there has been enormous interest in exploring possible material realizations of Kitaev physics and several candidate materials have been put forward, recently including α-RuCl3. In the absence of a magnetic field this material orders at a finite temperature and exhibits low-energy spin wave excitations. However, at moderate energies, the spectrum is unconventional and the response shows evidence for fractional excitations. Here we use time-of-flight inelastic neutron scattering to show that the application of a sufficiently large magnetic field in the honeycomb plane suppresses the magnetic order and the spin waves, leaving a gapped continuum spectrum of magnetic excitations. Our comparisons of the scattering to the available calculations for a Kitaev QSL show that they are consistent with the magnetic field induced QSL phase.
quantum spin liquid, spin waves, fractionalized excitations, inelastic neutron scattering
The work at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactor was supported by the United States Department of Energy (US-DOE), Office of Science - Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Scientific User Facilities Division. Part of the research was supported by the US-DOE, Office of Science - BES, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (P.K., C.A.B. and J-Q.Y.). D.M. and P.K. acknowledge support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPiQS Initiative through Grant GBMF4416. The work at Dresden was in part supported by DFG grant SFB 1143 (J.K. and R.M.). J.K. is supported by the Marie Curie Programme under EC Grant agreements No.703697.
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (703697)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/271852
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/