Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Materializing Rival Ground States in the Barlowite Family of Kagome Magnets: Quantum Spin Liquid, Spin Ordered, and Valence Bond Crystal States



Rebecca W. Smaha, Wei He, Jack Mingde Jiang, JiaJia Wen, Yi-Fan Jiang, John P. Sheckelton, Charles J. Titus, Suyin Grass Wang, Yu-Sheng Chen, Simon J. Teat, Adam A. Aczel, Yang Zhao, Guangyong NMN Xu, Jeffrey W. Lynn, Hong-Chen Jiang, Young S. Lee


Quantum magnet display exotic phases that may be strongly influenced by small differences in structure and composition. Comprehensive structural and magnetic measurements (involving x-ray scattering, neutron scattering, and thermodynamic techniques) were performed on newly synthesized variants of barlowite (Cu4(OH)6FBr) and Zn-substituted barlowite. In contrast to orthorhombic Pnma barlowite, a novel single crystalline variant of barlowite has been synthesized with a less drastic symmetry lowering to hexagonal P63/m. The lesser amount of symmetry breaking results in an overall smaller ordered moment compared to orthorhombic barlowite, moving the hexagonal sample closer to a quantum spin liquid ground state. Sizable single crystals of Zn-substituted barlowite (Cu3.44Zn0.56(OH)6FBr) were successfully grown, and no structural transition is observed down to T=0.1 K, consistent with a quantum spin liquid ground state. The magnetic response is compared to Cu3.05Zn0.95(OH)FBr (powder) and herbertsmithite (powder and crystal). These samples span a spectrum of quantum spin liquidness, allowing this exotic ground state to be probed systematically.
Nature Partner Journals Quantum Materials


Spin Liquid candidate, neutron diffraction, Cu4(OH)6FBr, barlowite, x-ray diffraction, crystal structure, magnetic structure, bulk properties
Created April 14, 2020, Updated April 24, 2020