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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jan 12;98(2):027403. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

One- and two-triplon spectra of a cuprate ladder.

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  • 1Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


We have performed inelastic neutron scattering on the near ideal spin-ladder compound La4Sr10Cu24O41 as a starting point for investigating doped ladders and their tendency toward superconductivity. A key feature was the separation of one-triplon and two-triplon scattering. Two-triplon scattering is observed quantitatively for the first time and so access is realized to the important strong magnetic quantum fluctuations. The spin gap is found to be 26.4+/-0.3 meV. The data are successfully modeled using the continuous unitary transformation method, and the exchange constants are determined by fitting to be Jleg=186 meV and Jrung=124 meV along the leg and rung, respectively; a substantial cyclic exchange of Jcyc=31 meV is confirmed.

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