Quenched crystal-field disorder and magnetic liquid ground states in Tb2Sn2-xTix O7

B. D. Gaulin, E. Kermarrec, M. L. Dahlberg, M. J. Matthews, F. Bert, J. Zhang, P. Mendels, K. Fritsch, G. E. Granroth, P. Jiramongkolchai, A. Amato, C. Baines, R. J. Cava, P. Schiffer

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Solid solutions of the "soft" quantum spin ice pyrochlore magnets Tb2B2O7 with B = Ti and Sn display a novel magnetic ground state in the presence of strong B-site disorder, characterized by a low susceptibility and strong spin fluctuations to temperatures below 0.1 K. These materials have been studied using ac susceptibility and μSR techniques to very low temperatures, and time-of-flight inelastic neutron scattering techniques to 1.5 K. Remarkably, neutron spectroscopy of the Tb3+ crystal-field levels appropriate to high B-site mixing (0.5<x<1.5 in Tb2Sn2-xTixO7) reveal that the doublet ground and first excited states present as continua in energy, while transitions to singlet excited states at higher energies simply interpolate between those of the end members of the solid solution. The resulting ground state suggests an extreme version of a random-anisotropy magnet, with many local moments and anisotropies, depending on the precise local configuration of the six B sites neighboring each magnetic Tb3+ ion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245141
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 18 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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