Spin Disorder on a Triangular Lattice

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Science  09 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5741, pp. 1697-1700
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114727

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As liquids crystallize into solids on cooling, spins in magnets generally form periodic order. However, three decades ago, it was theoretically proposed that spins on a triangular lattice form a liquidlike disordered state at low temperatures. Whether or not a spin liquid is stabilized by geometrical frustration has remained an active point of inquiry ever since. Our thermodynamic and neutron measurements on NiGa2S4, a rare example of a two-dimensional triangular lattice antiferromagnet, demonstrate that geometrical frustration stabilizes a low-temperature spin-disordered state with coherence beyond the two-spin correlation length. Spin liquid formation may be an origin of such behavior.

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