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Disorder-Induced Mimicry of a Spin Liquid in YbMgGaO4


We suggest that a randomization of the pseudodipolar interaction in the spin-orbit-generated low-energy Hamiltonian of YbMgGaO_{4} due to an inhomogeneous charge environment from a natural mixing of Mg^{2+} and Ga^{3+} can give rise to orientational spin disorder and mimic a spin-liquid-like state. In the absence of such quenched disorder, 1/S and density matrix renormalization group calculations both show robust ordered states for the physically relevant phases of the model. Our scenario is consistent with the available experimental data, and further experiments are proposed to support it.

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