Condensed-Matter Physics & Materials Science Seminar

"Topological Spin Excitations in a Highly Interconnected 3D Spin Lattice"

Presented by Yuan Li, International Center for Quantum Materials, Peking University, China

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 11:00 am — ISB Bldg. 734 Conf. Rm. 201 (upstairs)

The recent discovery of topological semimetals, which possess distinct electron-band crossing with non-trivial topological characteristics, has stimulated intense research interest. By extending the notion of symmetry-protected band crossing into one of the simplest magnetic groups, namely by including the symmetry of time-reversal followed by space-inversion, we predict the existence of topological magnon-band crossing in three-dimensional (3D) collinear antiferromagnets. The crossing takes on the forms of Dirac points and nodal lines, in the presence and absence, respectively, of the conservation of the total spin along the ordered moments. In a concrete example of a Heisenberg spin model for a "spin-web" compound, we theoretically demonstrate the presence of Dirac magnons over a wide parameter range using linear spin-wave approximation, and obtain the corresponding topological surface states [1]. Inelastic neutron scattering experiments have been carried out to detect the bulk magnon-band crossing in a single-crystal sample. The highly interconnected nature of the spin lattice suppresses quantum fluctuations and facilitates our experimental observation, leading to remarkably clean experimental data and very good agreement with the linear spin-wave calculations. The predicted topological band crossing is confirmed [2].

[1] K. Li et al., PRL 119, 247202 (2017).
[2] W. Yao et al., arXiv:1711.00632.

Hosted by: Mark Dean

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