Spin-current order in anisotropic triangular antiferromagnets

Andrey V. Chubukov, Oleg A. Starykh

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21 Scopus citations


We analyze instabilities of the collinear up-up-down state of a two-dimensional quantum spin-S spatially anisotropic triangular lattice antiferromagnet in a magnetic field. We find, within the large-S approximation, that near the end point of the plateau, the collinear state becomes unstable due to the condensation of two-magnon bound pairs rather than single magnons. The two-magnon instability leads to a novel two-dimensional vector chiral phase with alternating spin currents but no magnetic order in the direction transverse to the field. This phase breaks a discrete Z2 symmetry but preserves a continuous U(1) one of rotations about the field axis. It possesses orbital antiferromagnetism and displays a magnetoelectric effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number217210
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 23 2013


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