Structural Fluctuations in the Spin-Liquid State of
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High-resolution x-ray scattering measurements on single crystal Tb2Ti2O7 reveal finite structural correlations at low temperatures. This geometrically frustrated pyrochlore is known to exhibit a spin-liquid or cooperative paramagnetic state at temperatures below approximately 20 K. Parametric studies of structural Bragg peaks appropriate to the Fd3[over ]m space group of Tb2Ti2O7 reveal substantial broadening and peak intensity reduction in the temperature regime 20 K to 300 mK. We also observe a small, anomalous lattice expansion on cooling below a density maximum at approximately 18 K. These measurements are consistent with the development of fluctuations above a cooperative Jahn-Teller, cubic-tetragonal phase transition at very low temperatures.
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