Recent results on Kitaev interactions in Co based magnets
Kitaev quantum spin liquids (QSLs) are exotic states of matter that are predicted to host Majorana fermions and gauge flux excitations. However, so far all known Kitaev QSL candidates are known to have appreciable non-Kitaev interactions that pushes these systems far from the QSL regime. Co based magnets have been proposed to be perhaps a more ideal platform for realizing Kitaev QSLs. In this talk I will show evidence for a Kitaev interactions in both the quasi-one-dimensional ferromagnet CoNb2O6 as well as the hexagonal magnet BaCo2(AsO4). Although it is usually believed to be the best material realization of a 1D Ising chain, by combining terahertz spectroscopy and calculations we have shown that CoNb2O6 is well described by a model with bond-dependent interactions. We call this model the ‘twisted Kitaev chain’, as these interactions are similar to those of the honeycomb Kitaev spin liquid. The ferromagnetic ground state of CoNb2O6 arises from the compromise between two axes. Owing to this frustration, even at zero field domain walls have quantum motion, which is described by the celebrated Su–Schrieffer–Heeger model of polyacetylene and shows rich behavior as a function of field. Most recently, we have shown also that the honeycomb cobalt-based Kitaev QSL candidate, BaCo2(AsO4)2, has dominant Kitaev interactions. Due to only small non-Kitaev terms a magnetic continuum consistent with Majorana fermions and the existence of a Kitaev QSL can be induced by a small out-of-plane-magnetic field. Our results demonstrate BaCo2(AsO4)2 as a far more ideal version of Kitaev QSL compared with other candidates.
C. M Morris et al. "Hierarchy of bound states in the one-dimensional ferromagnetic Ising chain CoNb2O6 investigated by high-resolution time-domain terahertz spectroscopy.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112.13 137403 (2014).
C.M. Morris et al. “Duality and domain wall dynamics in a twisted Kitaev chain”, Nature Physics
volume 17, pages 832–836 (2021).
X. Zhang, et al., "In- and out-of-plane field induced quantum spin-liquid states in a more ideal Kitaev material: BaCo2(AsO4)”, https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.13418