Determining ground states of correlated electron systems is fundamental to understanding unusual phenomena in condensed-matter physics. A difficulty, however, arises in a geometrically frustrated system in which the incompatibility between the global topology of an underlying lattice and local spin interactions gives rise to macroscopically degenerate ground states 1 , potentially prompting the emergence of quantum spin states, such as resonating valence bond 2-7 and valence-bond solid 8-11 (VBS). Although theoretically proposed to exist in a kagome lattice-one of the most highly frustrated lattices in two dimensions being comprised of corner-sharing triangles-such quantum-fluctuation-induced states have not been observed experimentally. Here we report the first realization of the 'pinwheel' VBS ground state in the S=1/2 deformed kagome lattice antiferromagnet Rb 2 Cu 3 SnF 12 (refs 12, 13). In this system, a lattice distortion breaks the translational symmetry of the ideal kagome lattice and stabilizes the VBS state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)