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Journal Article

Exotic spin orders driven by orbital fluctuations in the Kugel-Khomskii model


Oleś,  A. M.
Department Quantum Many-Body Theory (Walter Metzner), Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Max Planck Society;

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Brzezicki, W., Dziarmaga, J., & Oleś, A. M. (2013). Exotic spin orders driven by orbital fluctuations in the Kugel-Khomskii model. Physical Review B, 87(6): 064407.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-C7B3-7
We study the zero temperature phase diagram of the three-dimensional Kugel-Khomskii model on a cubic lattice using the cluster mean field theory and different perturbative expansions in the orbital sector. The phase diagram is rich, and goes beyond the single-site mean field theory due to spin-orbital entanglement. In addition to the antiferromagnetic (AF) and ferromagnetic (FM) phases, one finds also a plaquette valence-bond phase with singlets ordered either on horizontal or vertical bonds. More importantly, for increasing Hund's exchange we identify three phases with exotic magnetic order stabilized by orbital fluctuations in between the AF and FM order: (i) an AF phase with two mutually orthogonal antiferromagnets on two sublattices in each ab plane and AF order along the c axis (ortho-G-type phase), (ii) a canted-A-type AF phase with a nontrivial canting angle between nearest neighbor FM layers along the c axis, and (iii) a striped-AF phase with anisotropic AF order in the ab planes. We elucidate the mechanism responsible for each of the above phases by deriving effective spin models which involve second and third neighbor Heisenberg interactions as well as four-site spin interactions going beyond Heisenberg physics, and explain how the entangled nearest neighbor spin-orbital superexchange generates spin interactions between more distant spins. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.064407