Quantum Monte Carlo simulations for stacked spin-ladder systems containing low concentrations of nonmagnetic impurities: Application to the low-temperature broadening of NMR spectra in SrCu 2 O 3

Robert Achleitner, Hans Gerd Evertz, Masatoshi Imada, Ralf Gamillscheg, Peter Mohn

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a quantum Monte Carlo study for Heisenberg spin-12 two-leg ladder systems doped with nonmagnetic impurities. The simulations are applied to the doped spin-ladder compound Sr(Cu1-xZnx)2O3, where a large broadening of the 65Cu NMR lines has been observed in experiment at low temperatures but far above the Néel temperature. We find that interladder couplings with a sizable coupling in the stacking direction are required to describe the line broadening, which cannot be explained by considering a single ladder only. Around a single impurity, spin correlations cause an exponentially decaying antiferromagnetic local magnetization in a magnetic field. We develop an effective model for the local magnetization of systems with many randomly distributed impurities, with few parameters which can be extracted out of quantum Monte Carlo calculations with a single impurity. The broadening arises from a drag effect, where the magnetization around an impurity works as an effective field for spins on the neighboring ladders, causing a nonexponentially decaying magnetization cloud around the impurity. Our results show that even for impurity concentrations as small as x=0.001 and x=0.0025, the broadening effect is large, in good quantitative agreement with experiment. We also develop a simple model for the effective interaction of two impurity spins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume88
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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