The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 73-83

First online:

Heat conduction in low-dimensional quantum magnets

  • C. HessAffiliated withLeibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Email author 

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Transport properties provide important information about the mobility, elastic and inelastic of scattering of excitations in solids. Heat transport is well understood for phonons and electrons, but little is known about heat transport by magnetic excitations. Very recently, large and unusual magnetic heat conductivities were discovered in low-dimensional quantum magnets. This article summarizes experimental results for the magnetic thermal conductivity κmag of several compounds which are good representations of different low-dimensional quantum spin models, i.e. arrangements of S=1/2 spins in the form of two-dimensional (2D) square lattices and one-dimensional (1D) structures such as chains and two-leg ladders. Remarkable properties of κmag have been discovered: It often dwarfs the usual phonon thermal conductivity and allows the identification and analysis of different scattering mechanisms of the relevant magnetic excitations.