First-Principles Study of the Magnetic Interactions in Honeycomb Na2IrO3: Article No. 094401

Y. Hou, H. Xiang, X. Gong, Jihui Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Honeycomb iridate Na2IrO3, a Jeff=1/2 magnet, is a potential platform for realizing quantum spin liquid. Many experiments have shown that its magnetic ground state is a zigzag antiferromagnetic order. However, there is still a lack of consensus on the theoretical model explaining such order, since its second-nearest-neighbor (NN) and long-range third-NN magnetic interactions are highly unclear. By properly considering the orbital moments achieved through constraining their directions in first-principles calculations, we obtain that the relative angle between orbital and spin moments is fairly small and in the order of several degrees, which thus validates the Jeff=1/2 state in Na2IrO3. Surprisingly, we find that the long-range third-NN Heisenberg interactions are sizable, whereas the second-NN magnetic interactions are negligible. Furthermore, we show that sizable long-range third-NN Heisenberg interactions closely correlate with the appreciable distribution of Wannier orbitals of Jeff=1/2 states over the three NN Ir atoms. Based on our study, we propose a minimal J1-K1-G1-J3 model in which the magnetic excitations have an intensity peak at 5.6 meV, consistent with the inelastic neutron-scattering experiment [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 127204 (2012)10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.127204]. The present work demonstrates again that constraining orbital moments in first-principles calculations is a powerful way to investigate the intriguing magnetism in Jeff=1/2 magnets, and it paves the way toward gaining a deep insight into the novel magnetism discovered in the honeycomb Jeff=1/2 magnets
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-72528


  • density functional theory
  • iridates
  • magnetism


Dive into the research topics of 'First-Principles Study of the Magnetic Interactions in Honeycomb Na2IrO3: Article No. 094401'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this