Strong quantum fluctuations in a quantum spin liquid candidate with a Co-based triangular lattice

Ruidan Zhong, Shu Guo, Guangyong Xu, Zhijun Xu, Robert J. Cava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Currently under active study in condensed matter physics, both theoretically and experimentally, are quantum spin liquid (QSL) states, in which no long-range magnetic ordering appears at low temperatures due to strong quantum fluctuations of the magnetic moments. The existing QSL candidates all have their intrinsic disadvantages, however, and solid evidence for quantum fluctuations is scarce. Here, we report a previously unreported compound, Na2BaCo(PO4)2, a geometrically frustrated system with effective spin-1/2 local moments for Co2 + ions on an isotropic 2-dimensional (2D) triangular lattice. Magnetic susceptibility and neutron scattering experiments show no magnetic ordering down to 0.05 K. Thermodynamic measurements show that there is a tremendous amount of magnetic entropy present below 1 K in 0-applied magnetic field. The presence of localized low-energy spin fluctuations is revealed by inelastic neutron measurements. At low applied fields, these spin excitations are confined to low energy and contribute to the anomalously large specific heat. In larger applied fields, the system reverts to normal behavior as evident by both neutron and thermodynamic results. Our experimental characterization thus reveals that this material is an excellent candidate for the experimental realization of a QSL state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14505-14510
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number29
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Fluctuations
  • Geometric frustrated magnets
  • Quantum
  • Quantum spin liquids
  • Triangular lattice


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