Quantum Spin Liquid State in the Disordered Triangular Lattice Sc2Ga2CuO7

Research paper by P. Khuntia, R. Kumar, A. V. Mahajan, M. Baenitz, Y. Furukawa

Indexed on: 03 Apr '16Published on: 03 Apr '16Published in: Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons


We present microscopic magnetic properties of a two dimensional triangular lattice Sc2Ga2CuO7, consisting of single and double triangular Cu planes. A Curie-Weiss temperature theta_CW = --44 K and an antiferromagnetic (AFM) exchange interaction J/KB = 35 K between Cu2+ (S = 1/2) spins in the triangular bi-plane are obtained from the analysis of magnetic susceptibility data. The intrinsic magnetic susceptibility extracted from 71Ga NMR shift data displays the presence of AFM short range spin correlations and remains finite down to 50 mK suggesting an non-singlet ground state. The nuclear spin-lattice relaxation rate (1/T1) reveals a slowing down of Cu2+ spin fluctuations with decreasing T down to 100 mK. Magnetic specific heat (Cm) and 1/T1 exhibit a power law behavior at low temperatures implying gapless nature of the spin excitation spectrum. Absence of long range magnetic ordering down to ~ J/700, nonzero spin susceptibility at low T, and power law behavior of Cm and 1/T1 suggest a gapless quantum spin liquid (QSL) state. Our results demonstrate that persistent spin dynamics induced by frustration maintain a quantum-disordered state at T -> 0 in this triangular lattice antiferromagnet. This suggests that the low energy modes are dominated by spinon excitations in the QSL state due to randomness engendered by disorder and frustration.