Dichotomy between frustrated local spins and conjugated electrons in a two-dimensional metal-organic framework

Wei Jiang, Zheng Liu, Jia Wei Mei, Bin Cui, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Dichotomy between local spins and conjugated electrons spawns various exotic physical phenomena, however, it has mostly been reported in three-dimensional (3D) inorganic systems. We show, for the first time, that a rare 2D metal-organic framework exhibits intriguing dichotomy behavior, which can be directly identified through scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS). In a newly synthesized Cu-hexaiminobenzene [Cu 3 (HAB) 2 ], on the one hand, the Cu 2+ ions form an ideal S - 1/2 antiferromagnetic (AFM) kagome lattice; on the other hand, the conjugated-electrons from the organic ligands produce a frustrated π x,y model on a honeycomb lattice, giving rise to completely dispersionless energy bands around the Fermi level that favour the ferromagnetic (FM) state. Remarkably, the frustrated local spins and conjugated electrons interact through a strong FM Hund's coupling, giving rise to a wide range of intriguing quantum phases. Furthermore, we propose that this dichotomy can be directly characterized through STM/STS measurements due to its special 2D nature, which provides a unique exciting platform to investigate the dichotomy of frustrated spins and electrons in a single lattice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-961
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by U.S. DOE-BES (Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER46148). W. J. was additionally supported by the NSF-Material Research Science & Engineering Center (Grand No. DMR-1121252). Z. L. was supported by the NSFC under Grant No. 11774196. We thank the CHPC at the University of Utah and DOE-NERSC for providing the computing resources.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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