Evidence for solitonic spin excitations from a charge-lattice-coupled ferroelectric order

K. Sunami, T. Nishikawa, K. Miyagawa, S. Horiuchi, R. Kato, T. Miyamoto, H. Okamoto, and K. Kanoda

Topological defects have been explored in different fields ranging from condensed matter physics and particle physics to cosmology. In condensed matter, strong coupling between charge, spin, and lattice degrees of freedom brings about emergent excitations with topological characteristics at low energies. One-dimensional (1D) systems with degenerate dimerization patterns are typical stages for the generation of topological defects, dubbed “solitons”; for instance, charged solitons are responsible for high electrical conductivity in doped trans-polyacetylene. Here, we provide evidence based on a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) study for mobile spin solitons deconfined from a strongly charge-lattice–coupled spin-singlet ferroelectric order in a quasi-1D organic charge-transfer complex. The NMR spectral shift and relaxation rate associated with static and dynamic spin susceptibilities indicate that the ferroelectric order is violated by dilute solitonic spin excitations, which were further demonstrated to move diffusively by the frequency dependence of the relaxation rate. The traveling solitons revealed here may promise the emergence of anomalous electrical and thermal transport.


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