Local spin structure of the α-RuCl3 honeycomb-lattice magnet observed via muon spin rotation/relaxation

Ichihiro Yamauchi, Masatoshi Hiraishi, Hirotaka Okabe, Soshi Takeshita, Akihiro Koda, Kenji M. Kojima, Ryosuke Kadono, Hidekazu Tanaka

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We report a muon spin rotation/relaxation (μSR) study of single-crystalline samples of the α-RuCl3 honeycomb magnet, which is presumed to be a model compound for the Kitaev-Heisenberg interaction. It is inferred from magnetic susceptibility and specific-heat measurements that the present samples exhibit successive magnetic transitions at different critical temperatures TN with decreasing temperature, eventually falling into the TN=7 K antiferromagnetic (7 K) phase that has been observed in only single-crystalline specimens with the least stacking fault. Via μSR measurements conducted under a zero external field, we show that such behavior originates from a phase separation induced by the honeycomb plane stacking fault, yielding multiple domains with different TN's. We also perform μSR measurements under a transverse field in the paramagnetic phase to identify the muon site from the muon-Ru hyperfine parameters. Based on a comparison of the experimental and calculated internal fields at the muon site for the two possible spin structures inferred from neutron diffraction data, we suggest a modulated zigzag spin structure for the 7 K phase, with the amplitude of the ordered magnetic moment being significantly reduced from that expected for the orbital quenched spin-1/2 state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134410
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 13
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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