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Higgs transition from a magnetic Coulomb liquid to a ferromagnet in Yb$$_{2}$$Ti$$_{2}$$O$$_{7}$$

Chang, L.-J.*; Onoda, Shigeki*; Su, Y.*; Kao, Y.-J.*; Tsuei, K.-D.*; Yasui, Yukio*; Kakurai, Kazuhisa; Lees, M. R.*

Experiments on dipolar spin ice have established a magnetic Coulomb phase where monopoles obey the magnetic Coulomb law. With quantum-mechanical interactions, these magnetic charges are carried by fractionalized bosonic quasi-particles, spinons, which can undergo Bose-Einstein condensation through a first-order transition via the Higgs mechanism. In this paper, we report evidence of a Higgs transition from a magnetic Coulomb liquid to a ferromagnet in single-crystal Yb$$_{2}$$Ti$$_{2}$$O$$_{7}$$. Polarised neutron scattering experiments show that the magnetic diffuse [111]-rod scattering and pinch-point features, typical features of magnetic Coulomb liquid phase, are suddenly suppressed below Tc $$sim$$ 0.21 K, where magnetic Bragg peaks and a full depolarisation of the neutron spins are observed with thermal hysteresis, indicating a first-order ferromagnetic transition. These experimental observations are explained from a quantum spin-ice model, whose high-temperature phase belongs to the magnetic Coulomb phase, while the ground state shows a nearly collinear ferromagnetism.



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Category:Multidisciplinary Sciences



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