Quantum spins on a triangular lattice may bring out intriguing and exotic quantum ground states. Here we report a magnetodielectric system of CuOHCl wherein S=1/2Cu2+ spins constitute a two-dimensional triangular lattice with the layers weakly coupled via Cl-H-O bonding. Despite strong magnetic interactions, as expected from the relatively high value of θCW=-100K, antiferromagnetic transition occurred at TN=11K, followed by an uprising turn of the magnetic susceptibility below ∼7 K. Neutron-diffraction experiment revealed a coplanar spin structure on the triangular lattice below the TN, with each spin pointing toward the center of a triangle. Of the three spins on a triangle, two are antiparallel and the third one is angled 120 to the antiparallel spins. A concerted effect of geometric frustration in the triangular lattice and superexchange interactions through a zig-zag path via double Cu-O-Cu and double Cu-Cl-Cu bridges counted for this spin arrangement. Further investigation using dielectric constant and heat capacity measurements, as well as a microscopic probe of muon spin rotation, revealed a magnetodielectric effect and the possibility of multiferroic transition at T∗∼5K, which is suspected to be in close relation to geometric frustration in this triangular lattice. The present paper presents a magnetodielectric system on a two-dimensional triangular lattice with chemical stoichiometry. It can also serve as a rare reference to the hotly debated quantum spin-orbital liquid compound LiNiO2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)