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Classification of spin liquids on the square lattice with strong spin-orbit coupling

Reuther, Johannes and Lee, Shu-Ping and Alicea, Jason (2014) Classification of spin liquids on the square lattice with strong spin-orbit coupling. Physical Review B, 90 (17). Art. No. 174417. ISSN 1098-0121. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.90.174417.

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Spin liquids represent exotic types of quantum matter that evade conventional symmetry-breaking order even at zero temperature. Exhaustive classifications of spin liquids have been carried out in several systems, particularly in the presence of full SU(2) spin-rotation symmetry. Real magnetic compounds, however, generically break SU(2) spin symmetry as a result of spin-orbit coupling—which in many materials provides an “order one” effect. We generalize previous works by using the projective symmetry group method to classify Z_2 spin liquids on the square lattice when SU(2) spin symmetry is maximally lifted. We find that, counterintuitively, the lifting of spin symmetry actually results in vastly more spin-liquid phases compared to SU(2)-invariant systems. A generic feature of the SU(2)-broken case is that the spinons naturally undergo p+ip pairing; consequently, many of these Z_2 spin liquids feature a topologically nontrivial spinon band structure supporting gapless Majorana edge states. We study in detail several spin-liquid phases with varying numbers of gapless edge states and discuss their topological protection. The edge states are often protected by a combination of time reversal and lattice symmetries and hence resemble recently proposed topological crystalline superconductors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper DOIArticle
Alicea, Jason0000-0001-9979-3423
Additional Information:© 2014 American Physical Society. Received 28 July 2014; published 14 November 2014. The authors gratefully acknowledge illuminating conversations with Aris Alexandradinata, Andrew Essin, Roger Mong, and Frank Pollmann. This research was supported by the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina through grant LPDS 2011-14 (J. R.); the NSF through grant DMR-1341822 (S.-P. L. and J. A.); the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (J. A.); the Caltech Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center with support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics at Caltech.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher LeopoldinaLPDS 2011-14
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Physics Frontiers CenterUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:17
Classification Code:PACS: 75.10.Jm, 75.10.Kt, 75.30.Gw, 75.70.Tj
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141218-113655042
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53023
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:18 Dec 2014 19:52
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:46

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