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Holes in a Quantum Spin Liquid

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Science  21 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5478, pp. 419-422
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.419

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Abstract

Magnetic neutron scattering provides evidence for nucleation of antiferromagnetic droplets around impurities in a doped nickel oxide–based quantum magnet. The undoped parent compound contains a spin liquid with a cooperative singlet ground state and a gap in the magnetic excitation spectrum. Calcium doping creates excitations below the gap with an incommensurate structure factor. We show that weakly interacting antiferromagnetic droplets with a central phase shift of π and a size controlled by the correlation length of the quantum liquid can account for the data. The experiment provides a quantitative impression of the magnetic polarization cloud associated with holes in a doped transition metal oxide.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: broholm{at}jhu.edu

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