Are Multiphase Competition and Order by Disorder the Keys to Understanding Yb 2 Ti 2 O 7Report as inadecuate

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1 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology 2 University of Waterloo Waterloo 3 School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia 4 Department of Physics, University of California, Davis 5 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Waterloo 6 Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Abstract : If magnetic frustration is most commonly known for undermining long-range order, as famously illustrated by spin liquids, the ability of matter to develop new collective mechanisms in order to fight frustration is perhaps no less fascinating, providing an avenue for the exploration and discovery of unconventional behaviors. Here, we study a realistic minimal model where a number of such mechanisms converge, which, incidentally, pertain to the perplexing quantum spin ice candidate Yb2Ti2O7. Specifically, we explain how thermal and quantum fluctuations, optimized by order-by-disorder selection, conspire to expand the stability region of a degenerate continuous U1 manifold against the classical splayed ferromagnetic ground state that is displayed by the sister compound Yb2Sn2O7. The resulting competition gives rise to multiple phase transitions, in striking similitude with recent experiments on Yb2Ti2O7 Lhotel et al., Phys. Rev. B 89, 224419 2014. By combining a gamut of numerical techniques, we obtain compelling evidence that such multiphase competition is a natural engine for the substantial sample-to-sample variability observed in Yb2Ti2O7 and is the missing key to ultimately understand the intrinsic properties of this material. As a corollary, our work offers a pertinent illustration of the influence of chemical pressure in rare-earth pyrochlores.

Author: L.D.C. Jaubert - Owen Benton - Jeffrey G. Rau - J. Oitmaa - R.R.P. Singh - Nic Shannon - Michel J.P. Gingras -



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