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Noncoplanar and Counterrotating Incommensurate Magnetic Order Stabilized by Kitaev Interactions in

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.197201 DOI Help
PMID: 25415919 PMID Help

Authors: Alun Biffin (University of Oxford) , Roger Johnson (University of Oxford) , Itamar Kimchi (University of Berkeley) , Richard Morris (University of Oxford) , Alessandro Bombardi (Diamond Light Source) , James Analytis (University of Berkeley) , Ashvin Vishwanath (University of Berkeley) , Radu Coldea (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review Letters , VOL 113 (19) , PAGES 1228-1237

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2014
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9919

Abstract: Materials that realize Kitaev spin models with bond-dependent anisotropic interactions have long been searched for, as the resulting frustration effects are predicted to stabilize novel forms of magnetic order or quantum spin liquids. Here, we explore the magnetism of gamma-Li2IrO3, which has the topology of a three-dimensional Kitaev lattice of interconnected Ir honeycombs. Using magnetic resonant x-ray diffraction, we find a complex, yet highly symmetric incommensurate magnetic structure with noncoplanar and counterrotating Ir moments. We propose a minimal Kitaev-Heisenberg Hamiltonian that naturally accounts for all key features of the observed magnetic structure. Our results provide strong evidence that gamma-Li2IrO3 realizes a spin Hamiltonian with dominant Kitaev interactions.

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism