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Title: Strain-Induced Spin-Nematic State and Nematic Susceptibility Arising from 2 × 2 Fe Clusters in KFe 0.8 Ag 1.2 Te 2

Abstract

Spin nematics break spin-rotational symmetry while maintaining time-reversal symmetry, analogous to liquid crystal nematics that break spatial rotational symmetry while maintaining translational symmetry. Although several candidate spin nematics have been proposed, the identification and characterization of such a state remain challenging because the spin-nematic order parameter does not couple directly to experimental probes. $$\mathrm{KFe_{0.8}Ag_{1.2}Te_{2} (K_{5}Fe_{4}Ag_{6}Te_{10}}$$, KFAT) is a local-moment magnet consisting of well-separated 2×2 Fe clusters, and in its ground state the clusters order magnetically, breaking both spin-rotational and time-reversal symmetries. Using uniform magnetic susceptibility and neutron scattering measurements, we find a small strain induces sizable spin anisotropy in the paramagnetic state of KFAT, manifestly breaking spin-rotational symmetry while retaining time-reversal symmetry, resulting in a strain-induced spin-nematic state in which the 2×2 clusters act as the spin analog of molecules in a liquid crystal nematic. Finally, the strain-induced spin anisotropy in KFAT allows us to probe its nematic susceptibility, revealing a divergentlike increase upon cooling, indicating the ordered ground state is driven by a spin-orbital entangled nematic order parameter.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [2];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Beijing Normal Univ. (China)
  4. National Inst. of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (United States); Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)
OSTI Identifier:
1591852
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC02-05CH11231; 11734002]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 24]; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; magnetic anisotropy; antiferromagnets; DC susceptibility measurements; neutron scattering

Citation Formats

Song, Yu, Yuan, Dongsheng, Lu, Xingye, Xu, Zhijun, Bourret-Courchesne, Edith, and Birgeneau, Robert J. Strain-Induced Spin-Nematic State and Nematic Susceptibility Arising from 2×2 Fe Clusters in KFe0.8Ag1.2Te2. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.123.247205.
Song, Yu, Yuan, Dongsheng, Lu, Xingye, Xu, Zhijun, Bourret-Courchesne, Edith, & Birgeneau, Robert J. Strain-Induced Spin-Nematic State and Nematic Susceptibility Arising from 2×2 Fe Clusters in KFe0.8Ag1.2Te2. United States. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.123.247205.
Song, Yu, Yuan, Dongsheng, Lu, Xingye, Xu, Zhijun, Bourret-Courchesne, Edith, and Birgeneau, Robert J. Wed . "Strain-Induced Spin-Nematic State and Nematic Susceptibility Arising from 2×2 Fe Clusters in KFe0.8Ag1.2Te2". United States. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.123.247205.
@article{osti_1591852,
title = {Strain-Induced Spin-Nematic State and Nematic Susceptibility Arising from 2×2 Fe Clusters in KFe0.8Ag1.2Te2},
author = {Song, Yu and Yuan, Dongsheng and Lu, Xingye and Xu, Zhijun and Bourret-Courchesne, Edith and Birgeneau, Robert J.},
abstractNote = {Spin nematics break spin-rotational symmetry while maintaining time-reversal symmetry, analogous to liquid crystal nematics that break spatial rotational symmetry while maintaining translational symmetry. Although several candidate spin nematics have been proposed, the identification and characterization of such a state remain challenging because the spin-nematic order parameter does not couple directly to experimental probes. $\mathrm{KFe_{0.8}Ag_{1.2}Te_{2} (K_{5}Fe_{4}Ag_{6}Te_{10}}$, KFAT) is a local-moment magnet consisting of well-separated 2×2 Fe clusters, and in its ground state the clusters order magnetically, breaking both spin-rotational and time-reversal symmetries. Using uniform magnetic susceptibility and neutron scattering measurements, we find a small strain induces sizable spin anisotropy in the paramagnetic state of KFAT, manifestly breaking spin-rotational symmetry while retaining time-reversal symmetry, resulting in a strain-induced spin-nematic state in which the 2×2 clusters act as the spin analog of molecules in a liquid crystal nematic. Finally, the strain-induced spin anisotropy in KFAT allows us to probe its nematic susceptibility, revealing a divergentlike increase upon cooling, indicating the ordered ground state is driven by a spin-orbital entangled nematic order parameter.},
doi = {10.1103/physrevlett.123.247205},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = [24],
volume = [123],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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