Field-Induced Phase Transition of the Spin Liquid State in Triangular Antiferromagnet YbMgGaO4
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The triangular antiferromagnet YbMgGaO4 has emerged as a candidate for hosting quantum spin liquid state, an exotic state of matter featuring a high degree of entanglement and often characterized as without magnetic ordering in the zero-temperature limit. However, the nature of the ground state in this system has been the subject of ardent debates, as recent work has shown that chemical disorder may contribute to quantum spin liquid-like features. Here we report a field-induced phase transition observed via diffuse neutron scattering and magnetic susceptibility measurements. Comparisons to Monte Carlo simulations, using semi-classical spins and disorder, and Density Matrix Renormalization Group for the zero-temperature limit, reveal crucial information about the ground state and the roles that thermal fluctuations and chemical disorder play in the observed behavior.
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William M. Fairbank Assistant Professor of Physics
Experimental Condensed Matter