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Spin-Induced Optical Conductivity in the Spin-Liquid Candidate Herbertsmithite

By Tianheng Han, D. Shrekenhamer, W. J. Padilla, Daniel Victor Pilon, Chun Hung Lui, Alex James Frenzel, Young S. Lee and Nuh Gedik

Abstract

We report a direct measurement of the low-frequency optical conductivity of large-area single-crystal herbertsmithite, a promising spin-liquid candidate material, by means of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. In the spectral range below 1.4 THz, we observe a contribution to the real part of the in-plane conductivity σ[subscript ab](ω) from the spin degree of freedom. This spin-induced conductivity exhibits a power-law dependence on frequency σ[subscript ab](ω) ~ ω[superscript β] with β ≈ 1.4. Our observation is consistent with the theoretically predicted low-frequency conductivity arising from an emergent gauge field of a gapless U(1) Dirac spin liquid.United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Basic Energy Sciences (Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering Grant DE-FG02-08ER46521)United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Basic Energy Sciences (Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering Grant DE-SC0006423)United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Basic Energy Sciences (Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering Grant DE-FG02-07ER46134

Publisher: American Physical Society
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.127401
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.mit.edu:1721.1/84975
Provided by: DSpace@MIT
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