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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 27;5:4203. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5203.

Realization of a three-dimensional spin-anisotropic harmonic honeycomb iridate.

Author information

1
1] Pulsed Field Facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA [2] Department of Physics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
2
1] Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA [2] Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
3
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
4
Physics Department, Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK.
5
Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, USA.
6
Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
7
Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
8
Pulsed Field Facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA.

Abstract

Spin and orbital quantum numbers play a key role in the physics of Mott insulators, but in most systems they are connected only indirectly--via the Pauli exclusion principle and the Coulomb interaction. Iridium-based oxides (iridates) introduce strong spin-orbit coupling directly, such that these numbers become entwined together and the Mott physics attains a strong orbital character. In the layered honeycomb iridates this is thought to generate highly spin-anisotropic magnetic interactions, coupling the spin to a given spatial direction of exchange and leading to strongly frustrated magnetism. Here we report a new iridate structure that has the same local connectivity as the layered honeycomb and exhibits striking evidence for highly spin-anisotropic exchange. The basic structural units of this material suggest that a new family of three-dimensional structures could exist, the 'harmonic honeycomb' iridates, of which the present compound is the first example.

PMID:
24969742
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5203

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