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Proximate ferromagnetic state in the Kitaev model material α-RuCl3

Suzuki, H.; Liu, H.; Bertinshaw, J.; Ueda, K.; Kim, H.; Laha, S.; Weber, D. 1; Yang, Z.; Wang, L.; Takahashi, H.; Fürsich, K.; Minola, M.; Lotsch, B. V.; Kim, B. J.; Yavaş, H.; Daghofer, M.; Chaloupka, J.; Khaliullin, G.; Gretarsson, H.; ... mehr


α-RuCl$_{3}$ is a major candidate for the realization of the Kitaev quantum spin liquid, but its zigzag antiferromagnetic order at low temperatures indicates deviations from the Kitaev model. We have quantified the spin Hamiltonian of α-RuCl$_{3}$ by a resonant inelastic x-ray scattering study at the Ru L$_{3}$ absorption edge. In the paramagnetic state, the quasi-elastic intensity of magnetic excitations has a broad maximum around the zone center without any local maxima at the zigzag magnetic Bragg wavevectors. This finding implies that the zigzag order is fragile and readily destabilized by competing ferromagnetic correlations. The classical ground state of the experimentally determined Hamiltonian is actually ferromagnetic. The zigzag state is stabilized by quantum fluctuations, leaving ferromagnetism – along with the Kitaev spin liquid – as energetically proximate metastable states. The three closely competing states and their collective excitations hold the key to the theoretical understanding of the unusual properties of α-RuCl$_{3}$ in magnetic fields.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000136933
Veröffentlicht am 06.09.2021
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-24722-4
Zitationen: 51
Zitationen: 59
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Nanotechnologie (INT)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2041-1723
KITopen-ID: 1000136933
HGF-Programm 47.12.02 (POF IV, LK 01) Exploratory Qubits
Erschienen in Nature Communications
Verlag Nature Research
Band 12
Heft 1
Seiten 4512
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 23.07.2021
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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