Hour-glass magnetic spectrum in a stripeless insulating transition metal oxide.

Nature communications

PubMedID: 24048465

Drees Y, Lamago D, Piovano A, Komarek AC. Hour-glass magnetic spectrum in a stripeless insulating transition metal oxide. Nat Commun. 2013;42449.
An hour-glass-shaped magnetic excitation spectrum appears to be a universal characteristic of the high-temperature superconducting cuprates. Fluctuating charge stripes or alternative band structure approaches are able to explain the origin of these spectra. Recently, an hour-glass spectrum has been observed in an insulating cobaltate, thus favouring the charge stripe scenario. Here we show that neither charge stripes nor band structure effects are responsible for the hour-glass dispersion in a cobaltate within the checkerboard charge-ordered regime of La(2-x)Sr(x)CoO(4). The search for charge stripe ordering reflections yields no evidence for charge stripes in La(1. 6)Sr(0. 4)CoO(4), which is supported by our phonon studies. With the observation of an hour-glass-shaped excitation spectrum in this stripeless insulating cobaltate, we provide experimental evidence that the hour-glass spectrum is neither necessarily connected to charge stripes nor to band structure effects, but instead, probably intimately coupled to frustration and arising chiral or non-collinear magnetic correlations.