Spin Density Wave versus Fractional Magnetization Plateau in a Triangular Antiferromagnet

We report an excellent realization of the highly nonclassical incommensurate spin-density wave (SDW) state in the quantum frustrated antiferromagnetic insulator Cs2CoBr4. In contrast to the well-known Ising spin chain case, here the SDW is stabilized by virtue of competing planar in-chain anisotropies and frustrated interchain exchange. Adjacent to the SDW phase is a broad m=1/3 magnetization plateau that can be seen as a commensurate locking of the SDW state into the up-up-down (UUD) spin structure. This represents the first example of the long-sought SDW–UUD transition in triangular-type quantum magnets.