Spinon confinement and a sharp longitudinal mode in Yb 2 Pt 2 Pb in magnetic fields

W. J. Gannon, I. A. Zaliznyak, L. S. Wu, A. E. Feiguin, A. M. Tsvelik, F. Demmel, Y. Qiu, J. R.D. Copley, M. S. Kim, M. C. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The fundamental excitations in an antiferromagnetic chain of spins-1/2 are spinons, de-confined fractional quasiparticles that when combined in pairs, form a triplet excitation continuum. In an Ising-like spin chain the continuum is gapped and the ground state is Néel ordered. Here, we report high resolution neutron scattering experiments, which reveal how a magnetic field closes this gap and drives the spin chains in Yb 2 Pt 2 Pb to a critical, disordered Luttinger-liquid state. In Yb 2 Pt 2 Pb the effective spins-1/2 describe the dynamics of large, Ising-like Yb magnetic moments, ensuring that the measured excitations are exclusively longitudinal, which we find to be well described by time-dependent density matrix renormalization group calculations. The inter-chain coupling leads to the confinement of spinons, a condensed matter analog of quark confinement in quantum chromodynamics. Insensitive to transverse fluctuations, our measurements show how a gapless, dispersive longitudinal mode arises from confinement and evolves with magnetic order.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1123
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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