Publications associated with Quantum Magnetism and Quantum Phase Transitions

Spin dynamics of frustrated easy-axis triangular antiferromagnet 2H-AgNiO2 explored by inelastic neutron scattering

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EM Wheeler, R Coldea, E Wawrzynska, T Sorgel, M Jansen, MM Koza, J Taylor, P Adroguer, N Shannon

We report inelastic neutron scattering measurements of the spin dynamics in the layered hexagonal magnet 2H-AgNiO2 which has stacked triangular layers of antiferromagnetically-coupled Ni2+ spins (S=1) ordered in a collinear alternating stripe pattern. We observe a broad band of magnetic excitations above a small gap of 1.8 meV and extending up to 7.5 meV, indicating strongly dispersive excitations. The measured dispersions of the boundaries of the powder-averaged spectrum can be quantitatively explained by a linear spin-wave dispersion for triangular layers with antiferromagnetic nearest- and weak next-nearest neighbor couplings, a strong easy-axis anisotropy and additional weak inter-layer couplings. The resulting dispersion relation has global minima not at magnetic Bragg wavevectors but at symmetry-related soft points and we attribute this anomalous feature to the strong competition between the easy-axis anisotropy and the frustrated antiferromagnetic couplings. We have also calculated the quantum corrections to the dispersion relation to order 1/S in spin-wave theory by extending the work of Chubukov and Jolicoeur [Phys. Rev. B v46, 11137 (1992)] and find that the presence of easy-axis anisotropy significantly reduces the quantum renormalizations predicted for the isotropic model.

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