Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

1 Publication

Fractionalized excitations probed by ultrasound

Hauspurg, A.; Zherlitsyn, S.; Helm, T.; Felea, V.; Wosnitza, J.; Tsurkan, V.; Choi, K.-Y.; Do, S.-H.; Ye, M.; Brenig, W.; Perkins, N. B.


In this work, we study magnetoelastic interactions by means of ultrasound experiments in α-RuCl3—a prototypical material for the Kitaev spin model on the honeycomb lattice, with a possible spin-liquid state featuring Majorana fermions and Z2-flux excitations. We present results of the temperature and in-plane magnetic-field dependence of the sound velocity and sound attenuation for several longitudinal and transverse phonon modes propagating along high-symmetry crystallographic directions. A comprehensive data analysis above the magnetically ordered state provides strong evidence of phonon scattering by Majorana fermions. This scattering depends sensitively on the value of the phonon velocities relative to the characteristic velocity of the low-energy fermionic excitations describing the spin dynamics of the underlying Kitaev magnet. Moreover, our data displays a distinct reduction of anisotropy of the sound attenuation, consistent with the presence of thermally excited Z2 visons. We demonstrate the potential of phonon dynamics as a promising probe for uncovering fractionalized excitations in α-RuCl3 and provide new insights into the H-T phase diagram of this material.

Involved research facilities

  • High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD)



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