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Monopolar and dipolar relaxation in spin ice Ho2Ti2O7

The date of: 2021-06-17
viewed: 0
source:Science Advances
Ferromagnetically interacting Ising spins on the pyrochlore lattice of corner-sharing tetrahedra form a highly degenerate manifold of low-energy states. A spin flip relative to this “spin-ice” manifold can fractionalize into two oppositely charged magnetic monopoles with effective Coulomb interactions. To understand this process, we have probed the low-temperature magnetic response of spin ice to time-varying magnetic fields through stroboscopic neutron scattering and SQUID magnetometry on a new class of ultrapure Ho2Ti2O7 crystals. Covering almost 10 decades of time scales with atomic-scale spatial resolution, the experiments resolve apparent discrepancies between prior measurements on more disordered crystals and reveal a thermal crossover between distinct relaxation processes. Magnetic relaxation at low temperatures is associated with monopole motion through the spin-ice vacuum, while at elevated temperatures, relaxation occurs through reorientation of increasingly spin-like monopolar bound states. Spin fractionalization is thus directly manifest in the relaxation dynamics of spin ice.

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