The honeycomb lattice material Li2RuO3 undergoes a dimerization of Ru4+ cations on cooling below 270â̂̃C, where the magnetic susceptibility vanishes. We use density functional theory calculations to show that this reflects the formation of a valence bond crystal, with a strong structural bond disproportionation. On warming, x-ray diffraction shows that discrete threefold symmetry is regained on average, and the dimerization apparently disappears. In contrast, local structural measurements using high-energy x rays show that disordered dimers survive at the nanoscale up to at least 650 â̂̃C. The high-temperature phase of Li2RuO3 is thus an example of a valence bond liquid, where thermal fluctuations drive resonance between different dimer coverages, a classic analog of the resonating valence bond state often discussed in connection with high-Tc cuprates.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 27 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics