Magnon bound states versus anyonic Majorana excitations in the Kitaev honeycomb magnet α-RuCl3

The pure Kitaev honeycomb model harbors a quantum spin liquid in zero magnetic fields, while applying finite magnetic fields induces a topological spin liquid with non-Abelian anyonic excitations. This latter phase has been much sought after in Kitaev candidate materials, such as α-RuCl3. Currently, two competing scenarios exist for the intermediate field phase of this compound (B = 7 - 10 T), based on experimental as well as theoretical results: (i) conventional multiparticle magnetic excitations of integer quantum number vs. (ii) Majorana fermionic excitations of possibly non-Abelian nature with a fractional quantum number. To discriminate between these scenarios a detailed investigation of excitations over a wide field-temperature phase diagram is essential. Here, we present Raman spectroscopic data revealing low-energy quasiparticles emerging out of a continuum of fractionalized excitations at intermediate fields, which are contrasted by conventional spin-wave excitations. The temperature evolution of these quasiparticles suggests the formation of bound states out of fractionalized excitations.


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