Room temperature spin-ice physics in cadmium cyanide

11 Apr 2019  ·  Coates Chloe S., Baise Mia, Simonov Arkadiy, Makepeace Joshua W., Seel Andrew G., Smith Ronald I., Playford Helen Y., Keen David A., Siegel Renée, Schmutzler Adrian, Senker Jürgen, Slater Ben, Goodwin Andrew L. ·

Spin-ices are frustrated magnets that support a particularly rich variety of emergent physics. Typically, it is the interplay of magnetic dipole interactions, spin anisotropy, and geometric frustration on the pyrochlore lattice that drives spin-ice formation... The relevant physics occurs at temperatures commensurate with the magnetic interaction strength, which for most systems is 1--5\,K. This low energy scale poses severe challenges for experimental studies of spin-ices and the practical exploitation of their unusual properties. Here, we show that non-magnetic cadmium cyanide (Cd(CN)$_2$) exhibits analogous behaviour to magnetic spin-ices, but does so on a temperature scale that is nearly two orders of magnitude greater. The electric dipole moments of cyanide ions in Cd(CN)$_2$ assume the role of magnetic pseudospins, with the difference in energy scale reflecting the increased strength of electric \emph{vs} magnetic dipolar interactions. As a result, spin-ice physics influences the structural behaviour of Cd(CN)$_2$ even at room temperature. read more

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Materials Science Disordered Systems and Neural Networks Strongly Correlated Electrons