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Beyond Magnons in Nd2ScNbO7: An Ising Pyrochlore Antiferromagnet with All-in-All-Out Order and Random Fields



A. Scheie, M. Sanders, Xin Gui, Yiming Qiu, Timothy R. Prisk, R. J. Cava, Collin L. Broholm


We report the low temperature magnetic properties of Nd3+ pyrochlore Nd2ScNbO7. Susceptibility and magnetization show an easy-axis moment, and heat capacity reveals a phase transition to long range order at TN = 370 mK with a fully recovered Δ}S = Rln(2), 53% of it recovered for T > TN. Elastic neutron scattering shows a long-range ordered all-in-all-out magnetic ordered structure with low-Q diffuse elastic scattering. Inelastic neutron scattering shows a low-energy flat-band,indicating a magnetic Hamiltonian similar to Nd2Zr2O7. Nuclear hyperfine excitations measured by ultra-high-resolution neutron backscattering indicates a distribution of static electronic moments below TN, which may be due to B-site disorder influencing Nd crystal electric fields. Analysis of heat capacity data shows an unexpected T-linear or T3/2 term which is inconsistent with conventional magnon quasiparticles, but is consistent with fractionalized spinons or gapless local spin excitations. We use legacy data to show similar behavior in Nd2Zr2O7. Comparing local static moments also reveals a suppression of the nuclear Schottky anomaly in temperature, evidencing strong low-T quantum fluctuations in the electronic moments. Taken together, these measurements indicate an unusual fluctuating magnetic ground state. Such observations in Nd2ScNbO7 and Nd2Zr2O7 are consistent with exotic spinons of a proximate quantum spin liquid or disorder-induced local spin excitations.
Physical Review B


Ising pyrochlore antiferromagnet, neutron scattering


Scheie, A. , Sanders, M. , Gui, X. , Qiu, Y. , Prisk, T. , Cava, R. and Broholm, C. (2021), Beyond Magnons in Nd<sub>2</sub>ScNbO<sub>7</sub>: An Ising Pyrochlore Antiferromagnet with All-in-All-Out Order and Random Fields, Physical Review B (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created October 19, 2021, Updated September 20, 2022