Quantum Behavior of Orbitals in Ferromagnetic Titanates: Novel Orderings and Excitations

Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Oct 14;89(16):167201. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.167201. Epub 2002 Sep 25.


We investigate the collective behavior of orbital angular momentum in the spin ferromagnetic state of a Mott insulator with t(2g) orbital degeneracy. The frustrated nature of the interactions leads to an infinite degeneracy of classical states. Quantum effects select four distinct orbital orderings. Two of them have a quadrupolar order, while the other states show in addition weak orbital magnetism. Specific predictions are made for neutron scattering experiments which might help to identify the orbital order in YTiO3 and to detect the elementary orbital excitations.