One-third magnetization plateau with a preceding novel phase in volborthite

H. Ishikawa, M. Yoshida, K. Nawa, M. Jeong, S. Krämer, M. Horvatić, C. Berthier, M. Takigawa, M. Akaki, A. Miyake, M. Tokunaga, K. Kindo, J. Yamaura, Y. Okamoto, Z. Hiroi

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We have synthesized high-quality single crystals of volborthite, a seemingly distorted kagome antiferromagnet, and carried out high-field magnetization measurements up to 74 T and V51 NMR measurements up to 30 T. An extremely wide 1/3 magnetization plateau appears above 28 T and continues over 74 T at 1.4 K, which has not been observed in previous studies using polycrystalline samples. NMR spectra reveal an incommensurate order (most likely a spin-density wave order) below 22 T and a simple spin structure in the plateau phase. Moreover, a novel intermediate phase is found between 23 and 26 T, where the magnetization varies linearly with magnetic field and the NMR spectra indicate an inhomogeneous distribution of the internal magnetic field. This sequence of phases in volborthite bears a striking similarity to those of frustrated spin chains with a ferromagnetic nearest-neighbor coupling J1 competing with an antiferromagnetic next-nearest-neighbor coupling J2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227202
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1


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