1 December 2017

Gapless Spin Excitations in the Field-Induced Quantum Spin Liquid Phase of α-RuCl3

α-RuCl3 is a leading candidate material for the observation of physics related to the Kitaev quantum spin liquid (QSL). By combined susceptibility, specific-heat, and nuclear-magnetic-resonance measurements, we demonstrate that α-RuCl3 undergoes a quantum phase transition to a QSL in a magnetic field of 7.5 T applied in the ab plane. We show further that this high-field QSL phase has gapless spin excitations over a field range up to 16 T. This highly unconventional result, unknown in either Heisenberg or Kitaev magnets, offers insight essential to establishing the physics of α-RuCl3.
Reference: J. Zheng et al, Physical Review Letters 119, 227208 (2017)

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