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Title: Correlated impurities and intrinsic spin-liquid physics in the kagome material herbertsmithite

Low energy inelastic neutron scattering on single crystals of the kagome spin-liquid compound ZnCu3(OD)6Cl2 (herbertsmithite) reveals in this paper antiferromagnetic correlations between impurity spins for energy transfers h(with stroke)ω < 0.8 meV (~ J/20). The momentum dependence differs significantly from higher energy scattering which arises from the intrinsic kagome spins. The low energy fluctuations are characterized by diffuse scattering near wave vectors (100) and (00 3/2), which is consistent with antiferromagnetic correlations between pairs of nearest-neighbor Cu impurities on adjacent triangular (Zn) interlayers. The corresponding impurity lattice resembles a simple cubic lattice in the dilute limit below the percolation threshold. Such an impurity model can describe prior neutron, NMR, and specific heat data. The low energy neutron data are consistent with the presence of a small spin gap (Δ ~ 0.7 meV) in the kagome layers, similar to that recently observed by NMR. Finally, the ability to distinguish the scattering due to Cu impurities from that of the planar kagome Cu spins provides an important avenue for probing intrinsic spin-liquid physics.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [3]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division; Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). James Franck Inst. Dept. of Physics
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
  3. Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Applied Physics; SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Inst. for Materials and Energy Sciences
  4. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States). NIST Center for Neutron Research; Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Materials Science
  5. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States). NIST Center for Neutron Research; The United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics
  6. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States). NIST Center for Neutron Research; Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy. Inst. for Quantum Matter
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1352675
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-08ER46544; AC02-76SF00515; DMR-1508249
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 94; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States); Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Contributing Orgs:
Stanford Univ., CA (United States); National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States); Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); The United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; antiferromagnetism; frustrated magnetism; Kagome lattice; Heisenberg model; inelastic neutron scattering