Field-induced bound-state condensation and spin-nematic phase in SrCu2(BO3)2 revealed by neutron scattering up to 25.9 T

In quantum magnetic materials, ordered phases induced by an applied mag- netic field can be described as the Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) of mag- non excitations. In the strongly frustrated system SrCu2(BO3)2, no clear magnon BEC could be observed, pointing to an alternative mechanism, but the high fields required to probe this physics have remained a barrier to detailed investigation.

Here we exploit the first purpose-built high-field neutron scattering facility to measure the spin excitations of SrCu2(BO3)2 up to 25.9 T and use cylinder matrix-product-states (MPS) calculations to reproduce the experimental spectra with high accuracy. Multiple unconventional features point to a condensation of S = 2 bound states into a spin-nematic phase, including the gradients of the one-magnon branches and the persistence of a one-magnon spin gap. This gap reflects a direct analogy with super- conductivity, suggesting that the spin-nematic phase in SrCu2(BO3)2 is best understood as a condensate of bosonic Cooper pairs.

Facility: SINQ

Reference: E. Fogh et al, Nature Communications 15, 442 (2024)

Read full article: here