Gapless ground state in the archetypal quantum kagome antiferromagnet ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2
A team of researchers from France, India, and Slovenia was able to demonstrate the absence of a spin gap in the ground state of the iconic kagome lattice material herbertsmithite.
The investigation entitled “Gapless ground state in the archetypal quantum kagome antiferromagnet ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2”, published in the renowned journal Nature Physics, was co-authored by Andrej Zorko. The discovery refutes a decade-old belief of a finite gap in this material and puts the enigmatic spin-liquid state in a completely new perspective. This experimental finding is consistent with recent theories suggesting a U(1) Dirac spin liquid as the ground state of the Heisenberg kagome antiferromagnet.