Low-energy spin dynamics of the s = 1/2 kagome system herbertsmithite

G. J. Nilsen, Mark De Vries, J. Ross Stewart, Andrew Harrison, Henrik Ronnow

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The low-energy (epsilon = ħω < 1 meV), low-temperature (T = 0.05 K) spin dynamics of the s = 1/2 kagome candidate herbertsmithite are probed in the presence of magnetic fields up to 2.5 T. The zero-field spectra reveal a very weak continuum of scattering at T = 10 K and a broad inelastic peak centred at epsilonmax = 0.2 meV at lower temperatures, T < 1 K. The broad peak is found to be strongly damped, with a liquid-like structure factor implying correlations at length scales up to r = 6 Å. The field dependence of the peak appears to follow the Zeeman splitting of s = 1/2 excitations, consistent with the weakly split 'doublets' observed in low-temperature specific heat. A possible explanation of these observations is a short-range correlated state involving defect spins between the kagome planes and moments in the kagome layers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2013


  • neutron spectroscopy
  • antiferromagnetism
  • frustrated magnetism


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