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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Heat Transport in Spin Chains with Weak Spin-Phonon Coupling

  • Author(s): Chernyshev, AL
  • Rozhkov, AV
  • et al.

© 2016 American Physical Society. The heat transport in a system of S=1/2 large-J Heisenberg spin chains, describing closely Sr2CuO3 and SrCuO2 cuprates, is studied theoretically at TJ by considering interactions of the bosonized spin excitations with optical phonons and defects. Treating rigorously the multiboson processes, we derive a microscopic spin-phonon scattering rate that adheres to an intuitive picture of phonons acting as thermally populated defects for the fast spin excitations. The mean-free path of the latter exhibits a distinctive T dependence reflecting a critical nature of spin chains and gives a close description of experiments. By the naturalness criterion of realistically small spin-phonon interaction, our approach stands out from previous considerations that require large coupling constants to explain the data and thus imply a spin-Peierls transition, absent in real materials.

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