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Disorder-Induced Excitation Continuum in a Spin-1/2 Cobaltate on a Triangular Lattice



Bin Gao, Tong Chen, Chien-Lung Huang, Yiming Qiu, Guangyong Xu, Jesse Liebman, Lebing Chen, Matthew B. Stone, Erxi Feng, Huibo Cao, Xiaoping Wang, Xianghan Xu, Sang-Wook Cheong, Stephen Winter, Pengcheng Dai


A spin-1/2 triangular-lattice antiferromagnet is a prototypical frustrated quantum magnet, which exhibits remarkable quantum many-body effects that arise from the synergy between geometric spin frustration and quantum fluctuations. It can host quantum frustrated magnetic topological phenomena like quantum spin liquid (QSL) states, highlighted by the presence of fractionalized quasiparticles within a continuum of magnetic excitations. In this work, we use neutron scattering to study CoZnMo3O8, which has a triangular lattice of Jeff = 1/2 Co2+ ions with octahedral coordination. We found a wave-vector dependent excitation continuum at low energy that disappears with increasing temperature. Although these excitations are reminiscent of a spin excitation continuum in a QSL state, their presence in CoZnMo3O8 originates from magnetic intersite disorder induced dynamic spin states with peculiar excitations. Our results therefore give direct experimental evidence for the presence of a disorder-induced spin excitation continuum. We provide a methodology to distinguish these excitations from genuine spin excitation continua from a QSL.
Physical Review B


disorder-induced spin excitation continuum, neutron scattering, triangular lattice


Gao, B. , Chen, T. , Huang, C. , Qiu, Y. , Xu, G. , Liebman, J. , Chen, L. , Stone, M. , Feng, E. , Cao, H. , Wang, X. , Xu, X. , Cheong, S. , Winter, S. and Dai, P. (2023), Disorder-Induced Excitation Continuum in a Spin-1/2 Cobaltate on a Triangular Lattice, Physical Review B, [online], (Accessed March 5, 2024)
Created July 31, 2023, Updated January 23, 2024