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Condensed Matter Seminars

ics Condensed Matter
Thursday, February 18, 2016
1:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
Note special time.
Natalia Perkins [Host: Gia-Wei Chern]
University of Minnesota
"Phase Diagram and Quantum Order by Disorder in the Kitaev K1-K2 Honeycomb Model"

The search for experimentally tangible scenarios of spin liquids as topologically ordered quantum states of matter is one of the most vibrant subfields of contemporary condensed matter research. Honeycomb iridates and related materials have originally been suggested as possible candidates for hosting a spin-liquid state. Intriguingly, no quantum paramagnetic ground state has been discovered so far in these materials, posing fundamental challenges to determining an accurate underlying microscopic spin model. In our study we  show that the second-neighbor Kitaev coupling is an important ingredient to such a microscopic description for the strong spin-orbit  transition-metal oxide Na2IrO3.

We analyze the K1-K2 model from a variety of methodological perspectives. As a coherent picture emerges from the investigation, the K1-K2 model allows us to explain the onset of zigzag magnetic order that is also found experimentally. Furthermore, we find that the K1-K2 model is a suitable minimal description for resolving the substantially different nature of quantum and thermal fluctuations originating from such Kitaev couplings.

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