Quantum electric-dipole liquid on a triangular lattice

Shi-Peng Shen, Jia-Chuan Wu, Jun-Da Song, Xue-Feng Sun, Yi-Feng Yang, Yi-Sheng Chai, Da-Shan Shang, Shou-Guo Wang, James F. Scott, Young Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Geometric frustration and quantum fluctuations may prohibit the formation of long-range ordering even at the lowest temperature, and therefore liquid-like ground states could be expected. A good example is the quantum spin liquid in frustrated magnets. Geometric frustration and quantum fluctuations can happen beyond magnetic systems. Here we propose that quantum electric-dipole liquids, analogues of quantum spin liquids, could emerge in frustrated dielectrics where antiferroelectrically coupled electric dipoles reside on a triangular lattice. The quantum paraelectric hexaferrite BaFe12O19 with geometric frustration represents a promising candidate for the proposed electric-dipole liquid. We present a series of experimental lines of evidence, including dielectric permittivity, heat capacity and thermal conductivity measured down to 66 mK, to reveal the existence of an unusual liquid-like quantum phase in BaFe12O19, characterized by itinerant low-energy excitations with a small gap. The possible quantum liquids of electric dipoles in frustrated dielectrics open up a fresh playground for fundamental physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10569
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2016


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