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Quantum magnetism in the frustrated square lattice oxyhalides YbBi2IO4 and YbBi2ClO4...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Physical Review B
Publication Date
Page Numbers
014426 to 014426

Square-lattice systems offer a direct route for realizing two-dimensional (2D) quantum magnetism with frustration induced by competing interactions. In this work, the square lattice materials YbBi2IO4 and YbBi2ClO4 were investigated using a combination of magnetization and specific-heat measurements on polycrystalline samples. Specific-heat measurements provide evidence for long-range magnetic order below TN = 0.21 K (0.25 K) for YbBi2IO4 (YbBi2ClO4). On the other hand, a rather broad maximum is found in the temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility, located at Tmax = 0.33 K (0.38 K) in YbBi2IO4 (YbBi2ClO4), consistent with the quasi-2D magnetism expected for the large separation between the magnetic layers. Estimation of the magnetic entropy supports the expected Kramers' doublet ground state for Yb3+ and the observed paramagnetic behavior is consistent with a well-isolated doublet. Roughly two-thirds of the entropy is consumed above TN, due to a combination of the quasi-2D behavior and magnetic frustration. The impact of frustration is examined from the viewpoint of a simplified J1−J2 square lattice model, which is frustrated for antiferromagnetic interactions. Specifically, a high-temperature series expansion analysis of the temperature-dependent specific-heat and magnetization data yields J2/J1 = 0.30 (=0.23) for YbBi2IO4 (YbBi2ClO4). This simplified analysis suggests strong frustration that should promote significant quantum fluctuations in these compounds, and thus motivates future work on the static and dynamic magnetic properties of these materials.