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Title:Strong correlations and topological order in one-dimensional systems
Author(s):De Gottardi, Wade
Director of Research:Vishveshwara, Smitha
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mason, Nadya
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vishveshwara, Smitha; Mestre, Jose P.; Stone, Michael
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Luttinger liquids
charge fractionalization
topological order
Abstract:This thesis presents theoretical studies of strongly correlated systems as well as topologically ordered systems in 1D. Non-Fermi liquid behavior characteristic of interacting 1D electron systems is investigated with an emphasis on experimentally relevant setups and observables. The existence of end Majorana fermions in a 1D p-wave superconductor subject to periodic, incommensurate and disordered potentials is studied. The Tomonaga-Luttinger liquid (TLL), a model of interacting electrons in one spatial dimension, is considered in the context of two systems of experimental interest. First, a study of the electronic properties of single-walled armchair carbon nanotubes in the presence of transverse electric and magnetic fields is presented. As a result of their effect on the band structure and electron wave functions, fields alter the nature of the (effective) Coulomb interaction in tubes. In particular, it is found that fields couple to nanotube bands (or valleys), a quantum degree of freedom inherited from the underlying graphene lattice. As revealed by a detailed TLL calculation, it is predicted that fields induce electrons to disperse into their spin, band, and charge components. Fields also provide a means of tuning the shell-filling behavior associated with short tubes. The phenomenon of charge fractionalization is investigated in a one-dimensional ring. TLL theory predicts that momentum-resolved electrons injected into the ring will fractionalize into clockwise- and counterclockwise-moving quasiparticles. As a complement to transport measurements in quantum wires connected to leads, non-invasive measures involving the magnetic field profiles around the ring are proposed. Topological aspects of 1D p-wave superconductors are explored. The intimate connection between non-trivial topology (fermions) and spontaneous symmetry breaking (spins) in one-dimension is investigated. Building on this connection, a spin ladder system endowed with vortex degrees of freedom is proposed in order to study the effects that inhomogeneous potentials have on the topological phase diagram. Periodic vortex patterns yield a rich parameter space for tuning into a topologically non-trivial phase. This analysis hinges on the development of a topological invariant based on the wave function of Majorana fermions which inhabit the ends of the system and are robust to disorder. The method is generalized to aperiodic and disordered potentials. The topological phase diagram of such systems is studied; numerical and analytic results are found to be in close agreement.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Wade DeGottardi
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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