Observation of two types of fractional excitation in the Kitaev honeycomb magnet

Jansa, N; Zorko, A; Gomilsek, M; Pregelj, M; Krämer, Karl; Biner, Daniel; Biffin, A; Rüegg, Christian; Klanjsek, Martin (2018). Observation of two types of fractional excitation in the Kitaev honeycomb magnet. Nature physics, 14(8), pp. 786-790. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41567-018-0129-5

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Quantum spin liquid is a disordered but highly entangled magnetic state with fractional spin excitations1. The ground state of an exactly solved Kitaev honeycomb model is perhaps its clearest example2. Under a magnetic field, a spin flip in this model fractionalizes into two types of anyon, a quasiparticle with more complex exchange statistics than standard fermions or bosons: a pair of gauge fluxes and a Majorana fermion2,3. Here, we demonstrate this kind of fractionalization in the Kitaev paramagnetic state of the honeycomb magnet α-RuCl3. The spin excitation gap determined by nuclear magnetic resonance consists of the predicted Majorana fermion contribution following the cube of the applied magnetic field2,4,5, and a finite zero-field contribution matching the predicted size of the gauge flux gap2,6. The observed fractionalization into gapped anyons survives in a broad range of temperatures and magnetic fields, which establishes α-RuCl3 as a unique platform for future investigations of anyons.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Krämer, Karl and Biner, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 540 Chemistry

ISSN:

1745-2473

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Funders:

[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds

Language:

English

Submitter:

Karl Krämer

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2018 16:03

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 15:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41567-018-0129-5

ArXiv ID:

1706.08455

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.118887

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/118887

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