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Order by Disorder Spin Wave Gap in the XY Pyrochlore Magnet Er2Ti2O7



Kathryn Aileen Ross, Yiming Qiu, John R. Copley, H. A. Dabkowska, B. D. Gaulin


The recent determination of a robust spin Hamiltonian for the anti-ferromagnetic XY pyrochlore Er2Ti2O7 reveals a most convincing case of the ¿order by quantum disorder¿ (ObQD) mechanism for ground state selection. This mechanism relies on quantum fluctuations to remove an accidental symmetry of the magnetic ground state, and selects a particular ordered spin structure below TN=1.2K. The removal of the continuous degeneracy results in an energy gap in the spectrum of spin wave excitations, long wavelength pseudo-Goldstone modes. We have measured the ObQD spin wave gap at a zone center in Er2Ti2O7, using low incident energy neutrons and the time-of-flight inelastic scattering method. We report a gap of {Δ}=0.053 ± 0.006 meV, which is consistent with upper bounds placed on it from heat capacity measurements and roughly consistent with theoretical estimate of {approximatelay} 0.02 meV, further validating the spin Hamiltonian that led to that prediction. The gap is observed to vary with square of the order parameter, and goes to zero for T {approximatelay} TN.
Physical Review Letters


neutron scattering, frustrated magnetism, pyrochlore, order by disorder, spin waves


, K. , Qiu, Y. , Copley, J. , , H. and , B. (2014), Order by Disorder Spin Wave Gap in the XY Pyrochlore Magnet Er<sub>2</sub>Ti<sub>2</sub>O<sub>7</sub>, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed March 5, 2024)
Created February 4, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017