Structural fluctuation in Ba3CuSb2O9, which is proposed to exhibit a spin-orbital entangled state, has been studied by diffuse x-ray scattering, x-ray fluorescence holography, and inelastic x-ray scattering. Two kinds of spatial fluctuations are observed: temperature-independent and temperature-dependent ones. The former is related to Cu/Sb arrangement. The short-range chemical correlation in Ba3CuSb2O9 is honeycomblike, whereas the correlation length is as short as the diameter of the honeycomb unit. The temperature variation of ferro- and antiferro-orbital correlations is extracted from Huang scattering intensity distributions. Both of these correlations increase with decreasing temperature down to 60 K, which corresponds to the energy of magnetic interaction of Ba3CuSb2O9. A wide distribution of the characteristic time scale of the orbital motion is proposed from the spatial fluctuation of the ionic arrangement in Ba3CuSb2O9.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics