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Spiral spin-liquid in frustrated A-site spinels

In frustrated A-site spinels, exotic spiral spin-liquid state, where spins fluctuate collectively as spirals with propagation wavevectors forming a continuous surface in reciprocal space, may emerge as the consequence of the competing nearest neighbor and next-nearest neighbor exchange interactions. Predominant short-range spin correlations reminiscent of spiral spin liquid state have been revealed in high-quality FeAl2O4 polycrystalline samples. Direct evidence for the spiral spin-liquid state has been more recently obtained in single-crystal MnSc2S4 based on the observation of the continuous spiral surface via polarized diffuse neutron scattering.

Spiral spin-liquid

H.S. Nair et al., “Approaching the true ground state of frustrated A-site spinels: A combined magnetization and polarized neutron scattering study”, Phys. Rev. B 89, 174431 (2014).
S. Gao et al., “Spiral spin-liquid and the emergence of a vortex-like state in MnSc2S4”, Nature Physics 13, 157 (2017).