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Title: Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3

Abstract

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 in this paper, 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.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [4];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [6];  [2];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Quantum Condensed Matter Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Scattering Division
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Cavendish Lab., Dept. of Physics
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  5. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Scattering Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Data Analysis and Visualization Division
  6. Max Planck Inst. for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
OSTI Identifier:
1423077
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; 703697; GBMF4416
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
npj Quantum Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-4648
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; Quantum simulation; Quantum fluids and solids; Magnetic properties and materials

Citation Formats

Banerjee, Arnab, Kelley, Paula J., Knolle, Johannes, Balz, Christian, Aczel, Adam A., Winn, Barry L., Liu, Yaohua, Pajerowski, Daniel M., Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Savici, Andrei T., Chakoumakos, Bryan C., Lumsden, Mark D., Tennant, David Alan, Moessner, Roderich, Mandrus, David, and Nagler, Stephen E. Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2.
Banerjee, Arnab, Kelley, Paula J., Knolle, Johannes, Balz, Christian, Aczel, Adam A., Winn, Barry L., Liu, Yaohua, Pajerowski, Daniel M., Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Savici, Andrei T., Chakoumakos, Bryan C., Lumsden, Mark D., Tennant, David Alan, Moessner, Roderich, Mandrus, David, & Nagler, Stephen E. Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2
Banerjee, Arnab, Kelley, Paula J., Knolle, Johannes, Balz, Christian, Aczel, Adam A., Winn, Barry L., Liu, Yaohua, Pajerowski, Daniel M., Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Savici, Andrei T., Chakoumakos, Bryan C., Lumsden, Mark D., Tennant, David Alan, Moessner, Roderich, Mandrus, David, and Nagler, Stephen E. Tue . "Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1423077.
@article{osti_1423077,
title = {Excitations in the field-induced quantum spin liquid state of α-RuCl3},
author = {Banerjee, Arnab and Kelley, Paula J. and Knolle, Johannes and Balz, Christian and Aczel, Adam A. and Winn, Barry L. and Liu, Yaohua and Pajerowski, Daniel M. and Yan, Jiaqiang and Bridges, Craig A. and Savici, Andrei T. and Chakoumakos, Bryan C. and Lumsden, Mark D. and Tennant, David Alan and Moessner, Roderich and Mandrus, David and Nagler, Stephen E.},
abstractNote = {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 in this paper, 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.},
doi = {10.1038/s41535-018-0079-2},
journal = {npj Quantum Materials},
number = 1,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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