Phases of a triangular-lattice antiferromagnet near saturation

Oleg A. Starykh, Wen Jin, Andrey V. Chubukov

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26 Scopus citations


We consider 2D Heisenberg antiferromagnets on a triangular lattice with spatially anisotropic interactions in a high magnetic field close to the saturation. We show that this system possesses a rich phase diagram in a field or anisotropy plane due to competition between classical and quantum orders: an incommensurate noncoplanar spiral state, which is favored classically, and a commensurate coplanar state, which is stabilized by quantum fluctuations. We show that the transformation between these two states is highly nontrivial and involves two intermediate phases - the phase with coplanar incommensurate spin order and the one with noncoplanar double-Q spiral order. The transition between the two coplanar states is of commensurate-incommensurate type, not accompanied by softening of spin-wave excitations. We show that a different sequence of transitions holds in triangular antiferromagnets with exchange anisotropy, such as Ba3CoSb2O9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number087204
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 21 2014
Externally publishedYes


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