The range of non-Kitaev terms and fractional particles in α-RuCl3

Yiping Wang, Gavin B. Osterhoudt, Yao Tian, Paige Lampen-Kelley, Arnab Banerjee, Thomas Goldstein, Jun Yan, Johannes Knolle, Huiwen Ji, Robert J. Cava, Joji Nasu, Yukitoshi Motome, Stephen E. Nagler, David Mandrus, Kenneth S. Burch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Significant efforts have focused on the magnetic excitations of relativistic Mott insulators, predicted to realize the Kitaev quantum spin liquid (QSL). This exactly solvable model involves a highly entangled state resulting from bond-dependent Ising interactions that produce excitations which are non-local in terms of spin flips. A key challenge in real materials is identifying the relative size of the non-Kitaev terms and their role in the emergence or suppression of fractional excitations. Here, we identify the energy and temperature boundaries of non-Kitaev interactions by direct comparison of the Raman susceptibility of α-RuCl3 with quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) results for the Kitaev QSL. Moreover, we further confirm the fractional nature of the magnetic excitations, which is given by creating a pair of fermionic quasiparticles. Interestingly, this fermionic response remains valid in the non-Kitaev range. Our results and focus on the use of the Raman susceptibility provide a stringent new test for future theoretical and experimental studies of QSLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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