University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Storrs Campus

Dr. Fazel Tafti, Boston College

Design Principles for the Kitaev Magnets with Emergent Majorana Fermions

Our progress toward the age of quantum computing requires a new class of materials with long-range spin entanglement and fractionalized excitations known as Majorana fermions. These elusive particles are theoretically predicted to exist in a spin liquid ground state inside a frustrated magnet. Candidate materials for magnetic frustration and the spin liquid state must have strong interactions but lack any magnetic ordering. Instead of an ordered ground state, these materials produce a quantum entangled ground state with coherent spin fluctuations. In this talk, I will explain how such ground states are constructed in magnetic materials by introducing valence bond solids and resonating valence bonds. I will focus on a special class of materials with honeycomb structure and strong magnetic frustration due to bond dependent ferromagnetic interactions. Such materials are described by a Kitaev Hamiltonian that consists of bond dependent anisotropic exchange interactions. I will explain why the current candidate materials have failed to satisfy the predictions of the theory, and provide a potential solution to improve such materials and achieve a true spin liquid ground state.


Prof. Ilya Sochnikov

Physics Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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