Extension of the zinc paratacamite phase diagram: Probing the effect of spin vacancies in an S = 1/2 kagome antiferromagnet

Mark A. de Vries, Dirk Wulferding, Peter Lemmens, James Lord, Andrew Harrison, Patrick Bonville, Fabrice Bert, Philippe Mendels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report on the extension of the phase diagram of the magnetic model system zinc paratacamite, ZnxCu4−x(OH)6 Cl2 (0 ...x ...1), with compositions x > 1, up to ∼1.2. This amounts to diamagnetic doping of the kagome lattice of antiferromagnetically coupled Cu2+ with S = 1/2 in what was hitherto known as the end member in the series: herbertsmithite of stoichiometry ZnCu3 (OH)6 Cl2 . Combining chemical analysis, x-ray diffraction, magnetic susceptibility measurements, Raman spectroscopy and muon spin relaxation spectroscopy we conclude the following: (i) Herbertsmithite can be synthesized in stoichiometric form, but it is affected by antisite disorder of ∼7% in Cu2+ content, implying that for x = 1, ∼7% of the Cu kagome sites is occupied by Zn2+ . (ii) The Zn content can be increased up to x ∼ 1.2. No qualitatively new behavior is found for the diamagnetic
Original languageEnglish
Article number014422
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2012

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