University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, September 20th 2017
1:25 pm:
Speaker: Natalia Drichko, Johns Hopkins University
Subject: From spin liquid candidate to dipole liquid in quasi-two dimensional organic Mott insulators: a Raman scattering study.

One of the simplest models representing lattice frustration in magnetic materials is the triangular lattice Heisenberg antiferromagnet. It was shown theoretically that it orders into 120 degree order. However, a large number of spin liquid candidates on triangular lattice are found among quasi-two-dimensional molecular- based Mott insulators. One explanation is that new charge degrees of freedom that can emerge in molecular-based Mott insulators resulting in a quantum dipole liquid state. Studies of the materials has been hampered by a lack of spectroscopic information, since neutron scattering has generally not been possible.

We use Raman scattering to detect spectrum of magnetic excitations in these magnetic compounds. At first I will demonstrate a Raman scattering study of the helical antiferromagnet α -SrCr2O4 (T_N=42K). Further, we identify magnetic excitations in an antiferromagnetic compound k-(BEDT-TTF)2Cu[N(CN)2]Cl and a spin liquid candidate k-(BEDT-TTF)2Cu2(CN)3. We show that their spectrum of excitations is very different from that of another triangular lattice Mott insulator k-(BEDT-TTF)2Hg(SCN)2Br. Our data demonstrate the emergence of an on-site dipole degree of freedom in the latter material. Raman scattering allows us to detect dipole fluctuations both with vibrational molecular spectroscopy and through observation of a collective mode at about 8 meV. Heat capacity of k-(BEDT-TTF)2Hg(SCN)2Br demonstrates a linear term at low temperatures, supporting a scenario where composite spin and electric dipole degrees of freedom remain fluctuating down to the lowest temperatures.

Faculty Host: Natalia Perkins

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