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Condensed Matter Seminars

ics Condensed Matter
Thursday, November 8, 2018
11:00 AM
Physics Building, Room 313
Arnab Banerjee [Host: Bellave Shivaram]
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
"Fractionalized excitations towards a non-Abelian phase in a Kitaev honeycomb magnet"

The Kitaev model on a honeycomb lattice predicts a special quantum spin liquid (QSL) ground state with excitations resembling Majorana Fermions and gauge flux excitations. These emergent features are exciting prospects to both basic physics and applications towards a lossless technology for quantum qubits.  In this talk, I will describe our recent range of experiments on the magnetic Mott insulator alpha-RuCl3 which has honeycomb layers held together with weak van-der-Waals  interactions. A strong spin-orbit coupling and an octahedral crystal field makes the Kitaev interactions arguably the leading order term in the Hamiltonian. Prominently, despite a long-range ordered ground state, our neutron scattering measurements reveal a continuum of fractionalized excitations resembling predictions from Majorana Fermions, confirming that the material is proximate to a QSL. In a 8T  magnetic field the long-range order vanishes and the continuum becomes gapped, supporting a state where a direct evidence of non-Abelian excitations can be measured. I will describe the present and future endeavors that may help to stabilize the coherent quantum excitations allow a better understanding of the underlying physics, as well as experiments to complete the understanding of the phase diagram of this material.

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