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Field-induced quantum criticality in the Kitaev system alpha-RuCl3
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2017 (English)In: Physical Review B, ISSN 2469-9950, E-ISSN 2469-9969, Vol. 96, no 4, article id 041405Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

alpha-magnetic excitations akin to Kitaev's honeycomb-lattice spin liquid. We have performed a detailed specific-heat investigation at temperatures down to 0.4 K in applied magnetic fields up to 9 T for fields parallel to the ab plane. We find a suppression of the zero-field antiferromagnetic order, together with an increase of the low-temperature specific heat, with increasing field up to mu H-0(c) approximate to 6.9 T. Above H-c, the magnetic contribution to the low-temperature specific heat is strongly suppressed, implying the opening of a spin-excitation gap. Our data point toward a field-induced quantum critical point at H-c; this is supported by universal scaling behavior near H-c. Remarkably, the data also reveal the existence of a small characteristic energy scale well below 1 meV, above which the excitation spectrum changes qualitatively. We relate the data to theoretical calculations based on a J(1)-K-1-Gamma(1)-J(3) honeycomb model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Physical Society, 2017. Vol. 96, no 4, article id 041405
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Physical Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-211335DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.96.041405ISI: 000405364100002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85024479601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-211335DiVA, id: diva2:1129179
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QC 20170801

Available from: 2017-08-01 Created: 2017-08-01 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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