From quantum disorder to magnetic order in an s=1/2 kagome lattice: a structural and magnetic study of herbertsmithite at high pressure

The structural and magnetic properties of deuterated herbertsmithite have been studied by means of neutron powder diffraction and magnetic susceptibility measurements in a wide range of temperatures and pressures. The experimental data demonstrate that a phase transition from the quantum-disordered spin-liquid phase to the long-range ordered antiferromagnetic phase with the Néel temperature T N=6K is induced at P=2.5GPa. The observed decrease of T N upon compression correlates with the anomalies in pressure behavior of Cu-O bond length and Cu-O-Cu bond angles. The reasons for the observed spin-freezing transition are discussed within the framework of the available theoretical models and the recent observation of the field-induced spin freezing. © 2012 American Physical Society.