Ba3 Mx Ti3−x O9 (M = Ir, Rh): A family of 5d/4d-based diluted quantum spin liquids

Kumar, R, Sheptyakov, D, Khuntia, P, Rolfs, K, Freeman, Paul Gregory orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5376-8940, Ronnow, HM, Dey, T and Baenitz, M (2016) Ba3 Mx Ti3−x O9 (M = Ir, Rh): A family of 5d/4d-based diluted quantum spin liquids. Physical Review A (PRA), 94 . ISSN 2469-9950

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We report the structural and magnetic properties of the 4d (M = Rh) based and 5d (M = Ir) based systems Ba3Mx Ti3−x O9 (nominally x = 0.5, 1). The studied compositions were found to crystallize in a hexagonal structure with the centrosymmetric space group P 63/mmc. The structures comprise of A2O9 polyhedra [with the A site (possibly) statistically occupied by M and Ti] in which pairs of transition metal ions are stacked along the crystallographic c axis. These pairs form triangular bilayers in the ab plane. The magnetic Rh and Ir ions occupy these bilayers, diluted by Ti ions even for x = 1. These bilayers are separated by a triangular layer which is dominantly occupied by Ti ions. From magnetization measurements we infer strong antiferromagnetic couplings for all of the materials but the absence of any spin-freezing or spin-ordering down to 2 K. Further, specific heat measurements down to 0.35 K show no sign of a phase transition for any of the compounds. Based on these thermodynamic measurements we propose the emergence of a quantum spin liquid ground state for Ba3Rh0.5Ti2.5O9, and Ba3Ir0.5Ti2.5O9, in addition to the already reported Ba3IrTi2O9.

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