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  Observation of fractional edge excitations in nanographene spin chains

Mishra, S., Catarina, G., Wu, F., Ortiz, R., Jacob, D., Eimre, K., et al. (2021). Observation of fractional edge excitations in nanographene spin chains. Nature, 598, 287-292. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03842-3.

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 Creators:
Mishra, Shantanu1, Author
Catarina, Gonçalo1, Author
Wu, Fupeng1, Author
Ortiz, Ricardo1, Author
Jacob, David1, Author
Eimre, Kristjan1, Author
Ma, Ji1, Author
Pignedoli, Carlo A.1, Author
Feng, Xinliang2, Author              
Ruffieux, Pascal1, Author
Fernández-Rossier, Joaquín1, Author
Fasel, Roman1, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Synthetic Materials and Functional Devices (SMFD), Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_3316580              

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 Abstract: Fractionalization is a phenomenon in which strong interactions in a quantum system drive the emergence of excitations with quantum numbers that are absent in the building blocks. Outstanding examples are excitations with charge e/3 in the fractional quantum Hall effect1,2, solitons in one-dimensional conducting polymers3,4 and Majorana states in topological superconductors5. Fractionalization is also predicted to manifest itself in low-dimensional quantum magnets, such as one-dimensional antiferromagnetic S = 1 chains. The fundamental features of this system are gapped excitations in the bulk6 and, remarkably, S = 1/2 edge states at the chain termini7,8,9, leading to a four-fold degenerate ground state that reflects the underlying symmetry-protected topological order10,11. Here, we use on-surface synthesis12 to fabricate one-dimensional spin chains that contain the S = 1 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon triangulene as the building block. Using scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy at 4.5 K, we probe length-dependent magnetic excitations at the atomic scale in both open-ended and cyclic spin chains, and directly observe gapped spin excitations and fractional edge states therein. Exact diagonalization calculations provide conclusive evidence that the spin chains are described by the S = 1 bilinear-biquadratic Hamiltonian in the Haldane symmetry-protected topological phase. Our results open a bottom-up approach to study strongly correlated phases in purely organic materials, with the potential for the realization of measurement-based quantum computation13.

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 Dates: 2021-04-302021-07-202021-10-132021-10-14
 Publication Status: Published in print
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Title: Nature
  Abbreviation : Nature
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 598 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 287 - 292 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427238