Partitioning the two-leg spin ladder in Ba2Cu1– xZnxTeO6: from magnetic order through spin-freezing to paramagnetism

Charlotte Pughe, Otto H. J. Mustonen*, Alexandra S. Gibbs*, Stephen Lee, Rhea Stewart, Ben Gade, Chennan Wang, Hubertus Luetkens, Anna Foster, Fiona C. Coomer, Hidenori Takagi, Edmund J. Cussen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Ba2CuTeO6 has attracted significant attention as it contains a two-leg spin ladder of Cu2+ cations that lies in close proximity to a quantum critical point. Recently, Ba2CuTeO6 has been shown to accommodate chemical substitutions, which can significantly tune its magnetic behavior. Here, we investigate the effects of substitution for non-magnetic Zn2+ impurities at the Cu2+ site, partitioning the spin ladders. Results from bulk thermodynamic and local muon magnetic characterization on the Ba2Cu1 – xZnxTeO6 solid solution (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.6) indicate that Zn2+ partitions the Cu2+ spin ladders into clusters and can be considered using the percolation theory. As the average cluster size decreases with increasing Zn2+ substitution, there is an evolving transition from long-range order to spin-freezing as the critical cluster size is reached between x = 0.1 to x = 0.2, beyond which the behavior became paramagnetic. This demonstrates well-controlled tuning of the magnetic disorder, which is highly topical across a range of low-dimensional Cu2+-based materials. However, in many of these cases, the chemical disorder is also relatively strong in contrast to Ba2CuTeO6 and its derivatives. Therefore, Ba2Cu1 – xZnxTeO6 provides an ideal model system for isolating the effect of defects and segmentation in low-dimensional quantum magnets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2752-2761
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number7
Early online date22 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2023


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