Planar thermal Hall effect of topological bosons in the Kitaev magnet α-RuCl3

Peter Czajka, Tong Gao, Max Hirschberger, Paula Lampen-Kelley, Arnab Banerjee, Nicholas Quirk, David G. Mandrus, Stephen E. Nagler, N. P. Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The honeycomb magnet α-RuCl3 has attracted considerable interest because it is proximate to the Kitaev Hamiltonian whose excitations are Majoranas and vortices. The thermal Hall conductivity κxy of Majorana fermions is predicted to be half-quantized. Half-quantization of κxy/T (T, temperature) was recently reported, but this observation has proven difficult to reproduce. Here, we report detailed measurements of κxy on α-RuCl3 with the magnetic field B ∥ a (zigzag axis). In our experiment, κxy/T is observed to be strongly temperature dependent between 0.5 and 10 K. We show that its temperature profile matches the distinct form expected for topological bosonic modes in a Chern-insulator-like model. Our analysis yields magnon band energies in agreement with spectroscopic experiments. At high B, the spin excitations evolve into magnon-like modes with a Chern number of ~1. The bosonic character is incompatible with half-quantization of κxy/T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Materials
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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