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Published April 1, 2007 | Accepted Version + Published
Journal Article Open

Critical spin liquid at ⅓ magnetization in a spin-½ triangular antiferromagnet


Although magnetically ordered at low temperatures, the spin-½ triangular antiferromagnet Cs₂CuCl₄ exhibits remarkable spin dynamics that strongly suggest proximity to a spin-liquid phase. Here we ask whether a proximate spin liquid may also occur in an applied magnetic field, leaving a similar imprint on the dynamical spin correlations of this material. Specifically, we explore a spatially anisotropic Heisenberg spin-½ triangular antiferromagnet at ⅓ magnetization from a dual vortex perspective, and indeed find a "critical" spin-liquid phase described by quantum electrodynamics in (2+1)-dimensions with an emergent SU(6) symmetry. A number of nontrivial predictions follow for the dynamical spin structure factor in this "algebraic vortex liquid" phase, which can be tested via inelastic neutron scattering. We also discuss how well-studied "up-up-down" magnetization plateaus can be captured within our approach, and further predict the existence of a stable gapless solid phase in a weakly ordered up-up-down state. Finally, we predict several anomalous "roton" minima in the excitation spectrum in the regime of lattice anisotropy where the canted Néel state appears.

Additional Information

© 2007 American Physical Society. (Received 10 February 2007; revised manuscript received 23 February 2007; published 10 April 2007) It is a pleasure to acknowledge Olexei Motrunich and Leon Balents for illuminating discussions. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant Nos. PHY-9907949 (M.P.A.F.) and DMR-0529399 (M.P.A.F. and J.A.).

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevB.75.144411.pdf

Accepted Version - 0609439.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023