We study low-energy excitations in the quantum breathing pyrochlore antiferromagnet Ba3Yb2Zn5O11 by a combination of inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and thermodynamical property measurements. The INS spectra are quantitatively explained by spin-12 single-tetrahedron model having XXZ anisotropy and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions. This model has a twofold degeneracy of the lowest-energy state per tetrahedron and well reproduces the magnetization curve at 0.5 K and heat capacity above 1.5 K. At lower temperatures, however, we observe a broad maximum in the heat capacity around 63 mK, demonstrating that a unique quantum ground state is selected due to extra perturbations with an energy scale smaller than the instrumental resolution of INS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics