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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Tom Lancaster

Arh, T., Gomilšek, M., Prelovšek, P., Pregelj, M., Klanjšek, M., Ozarowski, A., Clark, S. J., Lancaster, T., Sun, W., Mi, J.-X. & Zorko, A. (2020). Origin of Magnetic Ordering in a Structurally Perfect Quantum Kagome Antiferromagnet. Physical Review Letters 125(2): 027203.

Author(s) from Durham


The ground state of the simple Heisenberg nearest-neighbor quantum kagome antiferromagnetic model is a magnetically disordered spin liquid, yet various perturbations may lead to fundamentally different states. Here we disclose the origin of magnetic ordering in the structurally perfect kagome material YCu3(OH)6Cl3, which is free of the widespread impurity problem. Ab initio calculations and modeling of its magnetic susceptibility reveal that, similar to the archetypal case of herbertsmithite, the nearest-neighbor exchange is by far the dominant isotropic interaction. Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) anisotropy deduced from electron spin resonance, susceptibility, and specific-heat data is, however, significantly larger than in herbertsmithite. By enhancing spin correlations within kagome planes, this anisotropy is essential for magnetic ordering. Our study isolates the effect of DM anisotropy from other perturbations and unambiguously confirms the predicted phase diagram.