Publications associated with Quantum Matter in High Magnetic Fields

Unconventional field-induced spin gap in an S=1/2 Chiral staggered chain

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 122 (2019) 057207-

J Liu, S Kittaka, R Johnson, T Lancaster, J Singleton, T Sakakibara, Y Kohama, J Van Tol, A Ardavan, BH Williams, SJ Blundell, ZE Manson, JL Manson, PA Goddard

We investigate the low-temperature magnetic properties of the molecule-based chiral spin chain ½CuðpymÞðH2OÞ4SiF6 · H2O (pym ¼ pyrimidine). Electron-spin resonance, magnetometry and heat capacity measurements reveal the presence of staggered g tensors, a rich low-temperature excitation spectrum, a staggered susceptibility, and a spin gap that opens on the application of a magnetic field. These phenomena are reminiscent of those previously observed in nonchiral staggered chains, which are explicable within the sine-Gordon quantum-field theory. In the present case, however, although the sineGordon model accounts well for the form of the temperature dependence of the heat capacity, the size of the gap and its measured linear field dependence do not fit with the sine-Gordon theory as it stands. We propose that the differences arise due to additional terms in the Hamiltonian resulting from the chiral structure of ½CuðpymÞðH2OÞ4SiF6 · H2O, particularly a uniform Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya coupling and a fourfold periodic staggered field.

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