Impurities in the weakly coupled quantum spin chains Sr2CuO3 and SrCuO2
AbstractWe study the effect of nonmagnetic Zn2+ (spin-0) and magnetic Ni2+ (spin-1) impurities on the ground state and low-lying excitations of the quasi-one-dimensional spin-1/2 Heisenberg antiferromagnet Sr2CuO3 using inelastic neutron scattering, specific heat, and bulk magnetization measurements. We show that 1% Ni2+ doping in Sr2CuO3 results in a sizable spin gap in the spinon excitations, analogous to the case of Ni doped SrCuO2 previously reported [Simutis , Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 067204 (2013)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.111.067204]. However, a similar level of Zn2+ doping in SrCuO2, investigated here for comparison, did not reveal any signs of a spin gap. Magnetic ordering temperature was found to be suppressed in the presence of both Zn2+ and Ni2+ impurities; however, the rate of suppression due to Ni2+ was found to be much more pronounced than for Zn2+. Effect of magnetic field on the ordering temperature is investigated. We found that with increasing magnetic field, not only the magnetic ordering temperature gradually increases but the size of specific heat anomaly associated with the magnetic ordering also progressively enhances, which can be qualitatively understood as due to the field induced suppression of quantum fluctuations.