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      Direct evidence of a zigzag spin-chain structure in the honeycomb lattice: A neutron and x-ray diffraction investigation of single-crystal Na\({}_{2}\)IrO\({}_{3}\)

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          Phase-sensitive observation of a spin-orbital Mott state in Sr2IrO4.

          Measurement of the quantum-mechanical phase in quantum matter provides the most direct manifestation of the underlying abstract physics. We used resonant x-ray scattering to probe the relative phases of constituent atomic orbitals in an electronic wave function, which uncovers the unconventional Mott insulating state induced by relativistic spin-orbit coupling in the layered 5d transition metal oxide Sr2IrO4. A selection rule based on intra-atomic interference effects establishes a complex spin-orbital state represented by an effective total angular momentum = 1/2 quantum number, the phase of which can lead to a quantum topological state of matter.
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            Mott insulators in the strong spin-orbit coupling limit: from Heisenberg to a quantum compass and Kitaev models.

            We study the magnetic interactions in Mott-Hubbard systems with partially filled t_{2g} levels and with strong spin-orbit coupling. The latter entangles the spin and orbital spaces, and leads to a rich variety of the low energy Hamiltonians that extrapolate from the Heisenberg to a quantum compass model depending on the lattice geometry. This gives way to "engineer" in such Mott insulators an exactly solvable spin model by Kitaev relevant for quantum computation. We, finally, explain "weak" ferromagnetism, with an anomalously large ferromagnetic moment, in Sr2IrO4.
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              Mott physics and band topology in materials with strong spin–orbit interaction

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PRBMDO
                Physical Review B
                Phys. Rev. B
                American Physical Society (APS)
                1098-0121
                1550-235X
                May 2012
                May 8 2012
                : 85
                : 18
                Article
                10.1103/PhysRevB.85.180403
                fb06f3c5-6bdf-43f5-a741-10b925a5ede1
                © 2012

                http://link.aps.org/licenses/aps-default-license

                http://link.aps.org/licenses/aps-default-accepted-manuscript-license

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