A team of researchers has finally succeeded in its search for new states of matter. The team has uncovered a quantum spin liquid state, and the finding is being termed as a breakthrough discovery!
By relying on experimental technologies, the team has found out that the perovskite-related metal oxide, TblnO3, is capable of exhibiting this amazing state. The team is being led by the University of Liverpool and McMaster University scientists.
This foreign state was proposed, in theory, back in the ‘70s by the Novel laureate Philip Anderson. The theory’s incarnation is still questioned on a wide level. The state was thought to be achieved within a system where quantum spins would be interacting. The state is called ‘liquid’ because it features a chaotic state as opposed to a ferromagnetic spin state. This particular arrangement exhibits magnetic moments that possess properties that are similar to liquid.
The team made use of techniques such as muon spectroscopy and inelastic neutron scattering for finding that the state is capable of emerging from the intricacy of the TblnO3’s local environment that exists around the magnetic ions. The discovery was unexpected since TblnO3 is a material with the crystal structure that doesn’t allow such magnetic behavior.
Lucy Clark from the University’s Materials Innovation Factory, leading the program of quantum materials research, said, ‘It has taken us several years of hard work and experiments to reach this point in our understanding of TbInO3. When studying intricate quantum states of matter like the quantum spin liquid, carrying out one experiment often raises more questions than it can answer. In the case of TbInO3, however, the physics is particularly rich, and so we were especially driven to persevere. Our study shows that TbInO3 is a fascinating magnetic material, and one most likely to have many more intriguing properties for us yet to uncover.’
The researchers were quick to learn that there’s much more going on when it comes to TblnO3. Professor Bruce Gaulin, Director of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research at McMaster University, said, ‘This material appears deceptively simple, with terbium spins decorating a two-dimensional, triangular architecture. But with the full complement of modern experimental techniques at our disposal, the low-temperature magnetism of this structure, based on two distinct terbium environments, exhibits an altogether exotic quantum disordered state of matter – an unexpected and exciting result.’
The study has been published in the journal Nature Physics and supposedly quantum spin liquid will find a plethora of applications in the development of quantum computing.