Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
In the search for novel materials’ properties, the generation and manipulation of highly entangled quantum states is a grand challenge of solid state research. Among the most entangled proposed states are quantum spin liquids. In this context, the exactly solvable Kitaev Z2 spin-liquid model, for which finely tuned anisotropic interactions exactly fractionalize spins into fermionic Majorana spinons and gauge fluxes has activated an enormous amount of interest. Most specially since possible realizations may be achieved in octahedral coordinated spin-orbit-coupled transition-metal-based insulators. However, the low symmetry environment of the known Kitaev materials also allows interactions beyond the Kitaev model that open possible new routes for further exotic excitations.
In this talk I will first provide an overview and, based on ab initio and many-body simulations and comparison to experimental observations, I will discuss the challenges that one faces in designing such materials and in identifying the origin of their excitations. I will further present recent results on possible field- and pressure-induced phases in relation to the candidate alpha-RuCl3.