SrCu2(BO3)2 is the archetypal quantum magnet with a gapped dimer-singlet ground state and triplon excitations. It serves as an excellent realization of the Shastry-Sutherland model, up to small anisotropies arising from Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions. Here we demonstrate that these anisotropies, in fact, give rise to topological character in the triplon band structure. The triplons form a new kind of Dirac cone with three bands touching at a single point, a spin-1 generalization of graphene. An applied magnetic field opens band gaps resulting in topological bands with Chern numbers ±2. SrCu2(BO3)2 thus provides a magnetic analogue of the integer quantum Hall effect and supports topologically protected edge modes. At a threshold value of the magnetic field set by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions, the three triplon bands touch once again in a spin-1 Dirac cone, and lose their topological character. We predict a strong thermal Hall signature in the topological regime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)