Anisotropic field-induced ordering in the triangular-lattice quantum spin liquid ${\mathrm{NaYbSe}}_{2}$

K. M. Ranjith, S. Luther, T. Reimann, B. Schmidt, P. Schlender, J. Sichelschmidt, H. Yasuoka, A. M. Strydom, Y. Skourski, J. Wosnitza, H. Kühne, T. Doert, and M. Baenitz


High-quality single crystals of $NaYbSe_2$, which resembles a perfect triangular-lattice antiferromagnet without intrinsic disorder, are investigated by magnetization and specific heat, as well as the local probe techniques nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron spin resonance. The low-field measurements confirm the absence of any spin freezing or long-range magnetic order down to 50 mK, which suggests a quantum spin liquid ground (QSL) state with gapless excitations. Instability of the QSL state is observed upon applying magnetic fields. For the H⊥c direction, a field-induced magnetic phase transition is observed above 2 T from the Cp(T) data, agreeing with a clear Ms3 plateau of M(H), which is associated with an up-up-down spin arrangement. For the H∥c direction, a field-induced transition could be evidenced at a much higher field range (9–21 T). The 23Na NMR measurements provide microscopic evidence of field-induced ordering for both directions. A reentrant behavior of TN, originating from the thermal and quantum spin fluctuations, is observed for both directions. The anisotropic exchange interactions J⊥≃4.7 K and Jz≃2.33 K are extracted from the modified bond-dependent XXZ model for the spin-12 triangular-lattice antiferromagnet. The absence of magnetic long-range order at zero fields is assigned to the effect of strong bond frustration, arising from the complex spin-orbit entangled 4f ground state. Finally, we derive the highly anisotropic magnetic phase diagram, which is discussed in comparison with the existing theoretical models for spin-12 triangular-lattice antiferromagnets.

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