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Li, Han; Liao, Yuan Da; Chen, Bin-Bin; Zeng, Xu-Tao; Sheng, Xian-Lei; Qi, Yang; Meng, Zi Yang and Li, Wei (2020): Kosterlitz-Thouless melting of magnetic order in the triangular quantum Ising material TmMgGaO4. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1111 [PDF, 2MB]


Frustrated magnets hold the promise of material realizations of exotic phases of quantum matter, but direct comparisons of unbiased model calculations with experimental measurements remain very challenging. Here we design and implement a protocol of employing many-body computation methodologies for accurate model calculations-of both equilibrium and dynamical properties-for a frustrated rare-earth magnet TmMgGaO4 (TMGO), which explains the corresponding experimental findings. Our results confirm TMGO is an ideal realization of triangular-lattice Ising model with an intrinsic transverse field. The magnetic order of TMGO is predicted to melt through two successive Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) phase transitions, with a floating KT phase in between. The dynamical spectra calculated suggest remnant images of a vanishing magnetic stripe order that represent vortex-antivortex pairs, resembling rotons in a superfluid helium film. TMGO therefore constitutes a rare quantum magnet for realizing KT physics, and we further propose experimental detection of its intriguing properties. TmMgGaO4 is one of a number of recently-synthesized quantum magnets that are proposed to realize important theoretical models. Here the authors demonstrate the agreement between detailed experimental measurements and state-of-the-art predictions based on the 2D transverse-field triangular lattice Ising model.

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