We synthesize and study single crystals of a new double-perovskite Sr2YIrO6. Despite two strongly unfavorable conditions for magnetic order, namely, pentavalent Ir5+(5d4) ions which are anticipated to have Jeff=0 singlet ground states in the strong spin-orbit coupling (SOC) limit and geometric frustration in a face-centered cubic structure formed by the Ir5+ ions, we observe this iridate to undergo a novel magnetic transition at temperatures below 1.3 K. We provide compelling experimental and theoretical evidence that the origin of magnetism is in an unusual interplay between strong noncubic crystal fields, local exchange interactions, and “intermediate-strength” SOC. Sr2YIrO6 provides a rare example of the failed dominance of SOC in the iridates.

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Published in Physical Review Letters, v. 112, no. 5, 056402.

© 2014 American Physical Society.

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1. A parallel study of Sr2GdIrO6 2. Details of the 4-particle calculations