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Ladder studies of gapless quantum spin liquids : Spin Bose-metal and SU(2)-invariant Majorana spin liquids

Citation

Lai, Hsin-Hua (2012) Ladder studies of gapless quantum spin liquids : Spin Bose-metal and SU(2)-invariant Majorana spin liquids. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:05142012-220503327

Abstract

The recent experimental realizations of spin-1/2 gapless quantum spin liquids in two-dimensional triangular lattice organic compounds EtMe_3Sb[Pd(dmit)_2]_2 and kappa-(ET)_2Cu_2(CN)_3 have stimulated the investigation of the gapless spin liquid theories. The models in dimensions greater than one (D>1) usually involve multispin interactions, such as ring exchange interactions, that are difficult to study, while effective gauge theory descriptions are not well-controlled to give reliable physics information. Driven by the need for a systematic and controlled analysis of such phase, such models on ladders are seriously studied. This thesis first focuses on such ladder models. We propose that the gapless spin liquid phase can be accessed from a two-band interacting electron model by metal-Mott insulator phase transition. We use Bosonization analysis and weak-coupling Renormalization Group to further study the gapless spin liquid state in the presence of Zeeman magnetic fields or orbital magnetic fields. Several new exotic gapless spin liquids with dominant spin nematic correlations are predicted. In such a ladder spin liquid, we also consider the impurity effects. We conclude that the local energy textures and oscillating spin susceptibilities around the impurities are nontrivial and can be observed in the experiments. We then shift our focus to another theoretical candidate, an SU(2)-invariant spin liquid with Majorana excitations, which can also qualitatively explain the experimental phenomenology. We construct an exactly solvable Kitaev-type model realizing the long-wavelength Majorana spin liquid state and study its properties. We find that the state has equal power-law spin and spin-nematic correlations and behaves nontrivially in the presence of Zeeman magnetic fields. Finally, we realize such Majorana spin liquid states on a two-leg ladder and further explore their stability. We conclude the states can be stable against short-range interactions and gauge field fluctuations.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Spin liquids, frustrated magnets, renormalization group, bosonization, Kitaev-type models
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Motrunich, Olexei I.
Thesis Committee:
  • Motrunich, Olexei I. (chair)
  • Refael, Gil
  • Cross, Michael Clifford
  • Yeh, Nai-Chang
Defense Date:9 May 2012
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05142012-220503327
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:05142012-220503327
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7029
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Hsin-Hua Lai
Deposited On:15 May 2012 22:53
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 04:42

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