Statics and dynamics of weakly coupled antiferromagnetic spin-1/2 ladders in a magnetic field

Pierre Bouillot 1, Corinna Kollath 1, 2, Andreas M. Läuchli 3, Mikhail Zvonarev 4, 5, Benedikt Thielemann 6, Christian Rüegg 7, Edmond Orignac 8, Roberta Citro 9, Martin Klanjsek 10, 11, Claude Berthier 11, Mladen Horvatic 11, Thierry Giamarchi 1

Physical Review B 83 (2011) 054407

We investigate weakly coupled spin-1/2 ladders in a magnetic field. The work is motivated by recent experiments on the compound (C5H12N)2CuBr4 (BPCB). We use a combination of numerical and analytical methods, in particular the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) technique, to explore the phase diagram and the excitation spectra of such a system. We give detailed results on the temperature dependence of the magnetization and the specific heat, and the magnetic field dependence of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation rate of single ladders. For coupled ladders, treating the weak interladder coupling within a mean-field or quantum Monte Carlo approach, we compute the transition temperature of triplet condensation and its corresponding antiferromagnetic order parameter. Existing experimental measurements are discussed and compared to our theoretical results. Furthermore we compute, using time dependent DMRG, the dynamical correlations of a single spin ladder. Our results allow to directly describe the inelastic neutron scattering cross section up to high energies. We focus on the evolution of the spectra with the magnetic field and compare their behavior for different couplings. The characteristic features of the spectra are interpreted using different analytical approaches such as the mapping onto a spin chain, a Luttinger liquid (LL) or onto a t-J model. For values of parameters for which such measurements exist, we compare our results to inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the compound BPCB and find excellent agreement. We make additional predictions for the high energy part of the spectrum that are potentially testable in future experiments.

  • 1. DPMC-Manep,
    Université de Genève
  • 2. Centre de Physique Théorique (CPHT),
    CNRS : UMR7644 – Polytechnique - X
  • 3. Max Planck Institute Physik Komplexer Systems,
  • 4. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 5. Department of Physics,
    University of Harvard
  • 6. Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI),
  • 7. London Centre for Nanotechnology and Department of Physics and Astronomy,,
    University College of London (UCL)
  • 8. Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS Lyon (Phys-ENS),
    CNRS : UMR5672 – École Normale Supérieure - Lyon
  • 9. Dipartamento di Fisica "E. R. Caianiello",
    Università degli studi di Salerno
  • 10. Solid State Physics Department,
    Jozef Stefan Institute
  • 11. Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses (LNCMI),
    CNRS : UPR3228