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Title: Frustrated magnetism in the extended kagome lattice
Author: Tan, Zhiming Darren
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 9072
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The extended kagome lattice, composed of alternating kagome and triangular layers, provides a novel geometry for frustrated magnetism. In this thesis, we study the properties of Heisenberg spins with nearest-neighbour antiferromagnetic interactions on this lattice. In common with many other models of frustrated magnets, this system has highly degenerate classical ground states. It is set apart from other examples, however, by the strong interlayer correlations between triangular layer spins. We study the implications of such correlations in both the statics and dynamics. We characterise classical ground states using a flux picture for a single layer of kagome spins, a theoretical description that sets geometrical bounds on correlations. We quantify the divergent but sub-extensive ground state degeneracy by a Maxwellian counting argument, and verify this calculation by analysing the energy eigenvalues of numerical ground states. We explore the ground state connectedness but do not reach firm conclusions on this issue. We use the self-consistent Gaussian approximation (SCGA) to calculate static spin correlations at finite temperature. The results of these calculations agree well with elastic neutron scattering experiments. We derive an expression for the effective interlayer interaction between kagome spins by integrating out the triangular lattice spins. We use linear spinwave theory to compute the spin excitation spectrum numerically. This shows encouraging similarity with inelastic neutron scattering data on a single-crystal YBaCo$_4$O$_7$ sample, for a wide range of wavevector and frequency. This agreement shows that our spin model is a reasonable description of the physics, and suggests that this numerical technique might be useful for other geometrically frustrated magnets. We study the dynamics analytically using the stochastic SCGA recently developed for the pyrochlore lattice. For technical reasons, we apply this technique on a related model, the stacked kagome lattice, rather than on the extended kagome lattice itself. From this we find slow relaxation at low temperature, with a rate ~ T2 compared to the faster ~ T scaling for the pyrochlore. Strikingly, in simulations of the dynamics on the extended kagome lattice by numerical integration of the semiclassical equations of motion, we find two different relaxation rates. Kagome layer spins relax more quickly than the triangular layer spins, having ~ T.
Supervisor: Chalker, John Timothy Sponsor: Singapore Ministry of Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Condensed matter theory ; Theoretical physics ; frustration ; frustrated magnetism ; condensed matter physics