(SciTechDaily) Quantum spin liquids could be a step toward much faster, next-generation quantum computing. Quantum spin liquids have been a mystery since they were first proposed in the 1970s.
Scientists have focused attention and research on the so-called Kitaev-type of spin liquid, named in honor of the Russian scientist, Alexei Kitaev, who first proposed it. In particular, they have looked extensively at two materials – RuCl3 and Na2IrO – as candidates for this type. Both have small quantum spin numbers.
U of A physicists have greatly expanded the number of materials that might be candidates as Kitaev quantum spin liquids by looking at materials with higher quantum spin numbers, and by putting materials under physical strain to tune their magnetic states. “Suddenly, we realize there are dozens of candidates we can propose,” said said Changsong Xu, a researcher in the Department of Physics at the University of Arkansas.
Xu, along with Distinguished Professor of Physics Laurent Bellaiche and colleagues in China and Japan, used computational models to predict a Kitaev quantum spin liquid state in materials such as chromium iodide and chromium germanium telluride. The work, which was supported by grants from the Arkansas Research Alliance and the Department of Energy, will give researchers many more materials to study in a search to prove the existence of quantum spin liquids, said Xu.