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Phys Rev Lett. 2016 Sep 16;117(12):126403. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

J_{eff} Description of the Honeycomb Mott Insulator α-RuCl_{3}.

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IFW-Dresden, P.O.Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany.
Institute for Solid State Physics, TU Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany.
Indian Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry, Roorkee 247 667, India.
Institute for Theoretical Physics, TU Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany.
Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany.


Novel ground states might be realized in honeycomb lattices with strong spin-orbit coupling. Here we study the electronic structure of α-RuCl_{3}, in which the Ru ions are in a d^{5} configuration and form a honeycomb lattice, by angle-resolved photoemission, x-ray photoemission, and electron energy loss spectroscopy supported by density functional theory and multiplet calculations. We find that α-RuCl_{3} is a Mott insulator with significant spin-orbit coupling, whose low energy electronic structure is naturally mapped onto J_{eff} states. This makes α-RuCl_{3} a promising candidate for the realization of Kitaev physics. Relevant electronic parameters such as the Hubbard energy U, the crystal field splitting 10 Dq, and the charge transfer energy Δ are evaluated.

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