(SciTechDaily) Scientists working at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory have found evidence for a quantum spin liquid, a state of matter that is promising as a building block for the quantum computers of tomorrow.
Researchers discovered the exciting behavior while studying the so-called electron spins in the compound ruthenium trichloride. Their findings, published recently in the journal Nature Physics, show that electron spins interact across the material, effectively lowering the overall energy. This type of behavior — consistent with a quantum spin liquid — was detected in ruthenium trichloride at high temperatures and in high magnetic fields.
Spin liquids, first theorized in 1973, remain something of a mystery. Despite some materials showing promising signs for this state of matter, it is extremely challenging to definitively confirm its existence. However, there is great interest in them because scientists believe they could be used for the design of smarter materials in a variety of applications, such as quantum computing.