Dynamic spin Jahn-Teller effect in small magnetic clusters
Institute of Theoretical Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 11 October 2005
We study the effect of spin-phonon coupling in small magnetic clusters, concentrating on a S=1/2 ring of 4 spins coupled antiferromagnetically. If the phonons are treated as classical variables, there is a critical value of the spin-phonon coupling above which a static distortion occurs. This is a good approximation if the zero point energy is small compared to the energy gain due to the distortion, which is true for large exchange interactions compared to the phonon energy (). In the opposite limit, one can integrate out the phonon degrees of freedom and get an effective spin Hamiltonian. Using exact diagonalizations to include the quantum nature of both spins and phonons, we obtain the spectrum in the whole range of parameters and explicit the crossover between the classical and quantum regimes. We then establish quantitatively the limits of validity of two widely used approaches (one in the quantum and one in the classical limits) and show that they are quite poor for small magnetic clusters. We also show that upon reducing the first excitation of a 4-site cluster becomes a singlet, a result that could be relevant for Cu2Te2O5Br2.
PACS: 70. – Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties / 75. – Magnetic properties and materials / 75.75.+a – Magnetic properties of nanostructures / 75.45.+j – Macroscopic quantum phenomena in magnetic systems
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2005