Researchers from Boston College and Harvard have invented a rare honeycomb-structured material. It has the ability to counter the magnetic properties within it in for producing a chemical entity that is known as "spin liquid.” The spin liquid is the first-of-its-kind copper metal oxide (Cu2IrO3) which is one where the natural magnetic order is disturbed.
This process is called geometric frustration. The copper iridate is an insulator whose electrons are deactivated in the solid; however, they can still transport a magnetic moment known as "spin." Quantum information is transported of free spins in the material. In an attempt to complete the Kitaev's model: a lithium iridate (Li2IrO3) and a sodium iridate (Na2IrO3) are the only two honeycomb lattice that has been developed successfully yet. Unfortunately, due to magnetic ordering both of them fell short of achieving an ideal spin liquid. The scientists had chosen copper for this experiment due to its ideal atomic size. Very minute errors were found in the honeycombs in the lithium and sodium iridate when x-ray crystallography was applied to them.
Almost after ten years after the original prediction of quantum spin liquid on a honeycomb lattice was created by Kitaev, another team of scientists succeeded in making a material that resembles to the Kitaev model. Researchers are looking forward to create new forms of honeycomb materials with more exciting magnetic properties.
By: Anita Aishvarya