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Towards Understanding the Magnetic Properties of the Breathing Pyrochlore Compound Ba3Yb2Zn5O11 through Single-Crystal Studies



Sachith Dissanayake, Zhenzhong Shi, Jeffrey Rau, Rabindranath Bag, William Steinhardt, Nicholas Butch, Matthias Frontzek, Andrey Podlesnyak, David Graf, Casey Marjerrison, Jue Liu, Michel J. Gingras, Sara Haravifard


Ba3Yb2Zn5O11 is unique among breathing pyrochlore compounds for being in the nearly-decoupled limit where inter-tetrahedra interactions are weak, hosting isolated clusters or molecular magnet like tetrahedra of magnetic ytterbium (Ybu3+^) ions. In this work, we present the first study carried out on single-crystal samples of the breathing pyrochlore Ba3Yb2Zn5O11, using a variety of magnetometry and neutron scattering techniques along with theoretical modeling. We employ inelastic neutron scattering to investigate the magnetic dynamics as a function of applied field (with respect to both magnitude and direction) down to a temperature of 70 mK, where inelastic scattering reveals dispersionless bands of excitations as found in earlier powder sample studies, in good agreement with a single-tetrahedron model. However, diffuse neutron scattering at zero field and dc-susceptibility at finite field exhibit features suggesting the presence of excitations at low-energy that are not captured by the single tetrahedron model. Analysis of the local structure down to 2 K via pair distribution function analysis finds no evidence of structural disorder. We conclude that effects beyond the single tetrahedron model are important in describing the low-energy, low-temperature physics of Bad3^Yb2Zn5O^d11.
Nature Partner Journals Quantum Materials


inelastic neutron scattering


Dissanayake, S. , Shi, Z. , Rau, J. , Bag, R. , Steinhardt, W. , Butch, N. , Frontzek, M. , Podlesnyak, A. , Graf, D. , Marjerrison, C. , Liu, J. , Gingras, M. and Haravifard, S. (2022), Towards Understanding the Magnetic Properties of the Breathing Pyrochlore Compound Ba<sub>3</sub>Yb<sub>2</sub>Zn<sub>5</sub>O<sub>11</sub> through Single-Crystal Studies, Nature Partner Journals Quantum Materials, [online], (Accessed March 1, 2024)
Created August 10, 2022, Updated January 23, 2024