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Long-range magnetic order in the ${\tilde S}=1/2$ triangular lattice antiferromagnet KCeS$_2$

G. Bastien, B. Rubrecht, E. Haeussler, P. Schlender, Z. Zangeneh, S. Avdoshenko, R. Sarkar, A. Alfonsov, S. Luther, Y. A. Onykiienko, H. C. Walker, H. Kühne, V. Grinenko, Z. Guguchia, V. Kataev, H. -H. Klauss, L. Hozoi, J. van den Brink, D. S. Inosov, B. Büchner, A. U. B. Wolter, T. Doert

SciPost Phys. 9, 041 (2020) · published 17 September 2020


Recently, several putative quantum spin liquid (QSL) states were discovered in ${\tilde S} = 1/2$ rare-earth based triangular-lattice antiferromagnets (TLAF) with the delafossite structure. A way to clarify the origin of the QSL state in these systems is to identify ways to tune them from the putative QSL state towards long-range magnetic order. Here, we introduce the Ce-based TLAF KCeS$_2$ and show via low-temperature specific heat and $\mu$SR investigations that it yields magnetic order below $T_{\mathrm N} = 0.38$ K despite the same delafossite structure. We identify a well separated ${\tilde S} = 1/2$ ground state for KCeS$_2$ from inelastic neutron scattering and embedded-cluster quantum chemical calculations. Magnetization and electron spin resonance measurements on single crystals indicate a strong easy-plane $g$~factor anisotropy, in agreement with the ab initio calculations. Finally, our specific-heat studies reveal an in-plane anisotropy of the magnetic field-temperature phase diagram which may indicate anisotropic magnetic interactions in KCeS$_2$.

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