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Title: Low-temperature crystal and magnetic structure of α – RuCl3

Here, single crystals of the Kitaev spin-liquid candidate α – RuCl3 have been studied to determine the low-temperature bulk properties, the structure, and the magnetic ground state. Refinements of x-ray diffraction data show that the low-temperature crystal structure is described by space group C2/m with a nearly perfect honeycomb lattice exhibiting less than 0.2% in-plane distortion. The as-grown single crystals exhibit only one sharp magnetic transition at TN = 7 K. The magnetic order below this temperature exhibits a propagation vector of k=(0,1,1/3), which coincides with a three-layer stacking of the C2/m unit cells. Magnetic transitions at higher temperatures up to 14 K can be introduced by deformations of the crystal that result in regions in the crystal with a two-layer stacking sequence. The best-fit symmetry-allowed magnetic structure of the as-grown crystals shows that the spins lie in the ac plane, with a zigzag configuration in each honeycomb layer. The three-layer repeat out-of-plane structure can be refined as a 120° spiral order or a collinear structure with a spin direction of 35° away from the a axis. The collinear spin configuration yields a slightly better fit and also is physically preferred. The average ordered moment in either structure is lessmore » than 0.45(5) μB per Ru3+ ion.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 93; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States