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  1. Abstract With the motivation to study how non-magnetic ion site disorder affects the quantum magnetism of Ba 3 CoSb 2 O 9 , a spin-1/2 equilateral triangular lattice antiferromagnet, we performed DC and AC susceptibility, specific heat, elastic and inelastic neutron scattering measurements on single crystalline samples of Ba 2.87 Sr 0.13 CoSb 2 O 9 with Sr doping on non-magnetic Ba 2+ ion sites. The results show that Ba 2.87 Sr 0.13 CoSb 2 O 9 exhibits (i) a two-step magnetic transition at 2.7 K and 3.3 K, respectively; (ii) a possible canted 120 degree spin structure at zero field withmore »reduced ordered moment as 1.24 μ B /Co; (iii) a series of spin state transitions for both H ∥ ab -plane and H ∥ c -axis. For H ∥ ab -plane, the magnetization plateau feature related to the up–up–down phase is significantly suppressed; (iv) an inelastic neutron scattering spectrum with only one gapped mode at zero field, which splits to one gapless and one gapped mode at 9 T. All these features are distinctly different from those observed for the parent compound Ba 3 CoSb 2 O 9 , which demonstrates that the non-magnetic ion site disorder (the Sr doping) plays a complex role on the magnetic properties beyond the conventionally expected randomization of the exchange interactions. We propose the additional effects including the enhancement of quantum spin fluctuations and introduction of a possible spatial anisotropy through the local structural distortions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 10, 2023