Research ArticlePHYSICS

Quantum criticality in the spin-1/2 Heisenberg chain system copper pyrazine dinitrate

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Science Advances  22 Dec 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 12, eaao3773
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao3773


Low-dimensional quantum magnets promote strong correlations between magnetic moments that lead to fascinating quantum phenomena. A particularly interesting system is the antiferromagnetic spin-1/2 Heisenberg chain because it is exactly solvable by the Bethe-Ansatz method. It is approximately realized in the magnetic insulator copper pyrazine dinitrate, providing a unique opportunity for a quantitative comparison between theory and experiment. We investigate its thermodynamic properties with a particular focus on the field-induced quantum phase transition. Thermal expansion, magnetostriction, specific heat, magnetization, and magnetocaloric measurements are found to be in excellent agreement with exact Bethe-Ansatz predictions. Close to the critical field, thermodynamics obeys the expected quantum critical scaling behavior, and in particular, the magnetocaloric effect and the Grüneisen parameters diverge in a characteristic manner. Beyond its importance for quantum magnetism, our study establishes a paradigm of a quantum phase transition, which illustrates fundamental principles of quantum critical thermodynamics.

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