Chillal, S.; Iqbal, Y.; Jeschke, H.O.; Rodriguez-Rivera, J.A.; Bewley, R.; Manuel, P.; Khalyavin, D.; Steffens, P.; Thomale, R.; Islam, A. T. M. N.; Reuther, J.; Lake, B.: Evidence for a three-dimensional quantum spin liquid in PbCuTe2O6. Nature Communications 11 (2020), p. 2348
Open Accesn Version
The quantum spin liquid is a highly entangled magnetic state characterized by the absence of static magnetism in its ground state. Instead, the spins fluctuate in a highly correlated way down to the lowest temperatures. Quantum spin liquids are very rare and are confined to a few specific cases where the interactions between the magnetic ions cannot be simultaneously satisfied (known as frustration). Lattices with magnetic ions in triangular or tetrahedral arrangements, which interact via isotropic antiferromagnetic interactions, can generate such a frustration. Three-dimensional isotropic spin liquids have mostly been sought in materials where the magnetic ions form pyrochlore or hyperkagome lattices. Here we present a three-dimensional lattice called the hyper-hyperkagome that enables spin liquid behaviour and manifests in the compound PbCuTe2O6. Using a combination of experiment and theory, we show that this system exhibits signs of being a quantum spin liquid with no detectable static magnetism together with the presence of diffuse continua in the magnetic spectrum suggestive of fractional spinon excitations.