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Brief Report

Applied Science and Convergence Technology 2021; 30(6): 191-194

Published online November 30, 2021


Copyright © The Korean Vacuum Society.

Spin-Orbit-Entangled Nature of Magnetic Moments and Kitaev Magnetism in Layered Halides

Heung-Sik Kim

Department of Physics and Institute for Accelerator Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:E-mail: heungsikim@kangwon.ac.kr

Received: November 19, 2021; Accepted: November 24, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, α-RuCl3 has been extensively studied because of potential bond-dependent Kitaev magnetic exchange interactions and the resulting quantum spin liquid phase that can be realized therein. The covalency between Ru 4d- and Cl p-orbitals is crucial for inducing large Kitaev interactions in this compound, therefore replacing Cl with heavier halogen elements such as Br or I appears to be a promising method for further promoting the Kitaev interaction. There have been several reports on synthesis of α-RuBr3 and α-RuI3, which are expected to host the same spin-orbit-entangled orbitals and Kitaev exchange interactions with α-RuCl3. This study investigated electronic structures of α-RuCl3, α-RuBr3, and α-RuI3 via comparisons, focusing on the cooperation of the spin-orbit coupling and on-site Coulomb repulsions to realize the spin-orbit-entangled pseudospin-1/2 at Ru sites. In addition, magnetic exchange interactions of all three compounds were estimated, thereby demonstrating that α-RuBr3 can be promising candidates for realizing Kitaev spin liquid phases in solid-state systems.

Keywords: Kitaev magnetism, Layered transition metal halides, Spin-orbit coupling, Strongly correlated electron systems, Frustrated magnetism, Density functional theory

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