Intermediate magnetization state and competing orders in Dy2Ti2O7 and Ho2Ti2O7
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Among the frustrated magnetic materials, spin-ice stands out as a particularly interesting system. Residual entropy, freezing and glassiness, Kasteleyn transitions and fractionalization of excitations in three dimensions all stem from a simple classical Hamiltonian. But is the usual spin-ice Hamiltonian a correct description of the experimental systems? Here we address this issue by measuring magnetic susceptibility in the two most studied spin-ice compounds, Dy2Ti2O7 and Ho2Ti2O7, using a vector magnet. Using these results, and guided by a theoretical analysis of possible distortions to the pyrochlore lattice, we construct an effective Hamiltonian and explore it using Monte Carlo simulations. We show how this Hamiltonian reproduces the experimental results, including the formation of a phase of intermediate polarization, and gives important information about the possible ground state of real spin-ice systems. Our work suggests an unusual situation in which distortions might contribute to the preservation rather than relief of the effects of frustration.
Borzi , R A , Gómez Albarracín , F A , Rosales , H D , Rossini , G L , Steppke , A , Prabhakaran , D , Mackenzie , A P , Cabra , D C & Grigera , S A 2016 , ' Intermediate magnetization state and competing orders in Dy 2 Ti 2 O 7 and Ho 2 Ti 2 O 7 ' , Nature Communications , vol. 7 , 12592 . https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12592
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DescriptionWe thank R. Moessner, C. Castelnovo and M. Gingras for helpful discussions, and the financial support of ANPCYT through PICT 2013-2004 and PICT 2014-2618 and CONICET (Argentina), the EPSRC and the Royal Society (UK).
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