Crystal electric field excitations in the quantum spin liquid candidate NaErS2

Gao, Shang; Xiao, Fan; Kamazawa, Kazuya; Ikeuchi, Kazuhiko; Biner, Daniel; Krämer, Karl W.; Rüegg, Christian; Arima, Taka-hisa (2020). Crystal electric field excitations in the quantum spin liquid candidate NaErS2. Physical review. B - condensed matter and materials physics, 102(2), 024424. American Physical Society 10.1103/PhysRevB.102.024424

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The delafossite family of compounds with a triangular lattice of rare earth ions has been recently proposed as a candidate host for quantum spin liquid (QSL) states. To realize QSLs, the crystal electric field (CEF) ground state of the rare earth ions should be composed of a doublet that allows sizable quantum tunneling, but until now the knowledge on CEF states in the delafossite compounds is still limited. Here we employ inelastic neutron scattering (INS) to study the CEF transitions in a powder sample of the delafossite NaErS2, where the large total angular momentum J = 15/2 of the Er3+ ions and the resulting plethora of CEF transitions enable an accurate fit of the CEF parameters. Our study reveals nearly isotropic spins with large Jz = ±1/2 components for the Er3+ CEF ground states, which might facilitate the development of a QSL state. The scaling of the obtained CEF Hamiltonian to different rare earth ions suggests that sizable Jz = ±1/2 components are generally present in the CEF ground states, supporting the ternary sulfide delafossites as potential QSL hosts.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Xiao, Fan, Biner, Daniel, Krämer, Karl


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Physical Society




Karl Krämer

Date Deposited:

18 Nov 2020 08:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:41

Publisher DOI:


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