Spin liquids in frustrated magnets

Nature. 2010 Mar 11;464(7286):199-208. doi: 10.1038/nature08917.

Abstract

Frustrated magnets are materials in which localized magnetic moments, or spins, interact through competing exchange interactions that cannot be simultaneously satisfied, giving rise to a large degeneracy of the system ground state. Under certain conditions, this can lead to the formation of fluid-like states of matter, so-called spin liquids, in which the constituent spins are highly correlated but still fluctuate strongly down to a temperature of absolute zero. The fluctuations of the spins in a spin liquid can be classical or quantum and show remarkable collective phenomena such as emergent gauge fields and fractional particle excitations. This exotic behaviour is now being uncovered in the laboratory, providing insight into the properties of spin liquids and challenges to the theoretical description of these materials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.