Researchers from RIKEN have performed detailed simulations and came up with the conclusion that achieving a quantum spin liquid state in 2D materials may be more difficult than previously thought. In this state, quantum-mechanical effects hinder the development of atomic order while retaining strong electronic interactions.

It was shown through theoretical studies that a quantum spin liquid phase could exist in 2D materials in which the atoms are arranged in a hexagonal network (like in graphene). The new simulations the researchers found no evidence of an intermediate spin liquid phase.