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Title:Chern-Simons theory of magnetization plateaus on the kagome lattice
Author(s):Krishnakumar, Ponnuraj
Director of Research:Fradkin, Eduardo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stone, Mike
Doctoral Committee Member(s):MacDougall, Gregory; Stack, John
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Magnetization plateaus
lattice chern-simons theory
discretized abelian gauge theoies
kagome lattice
Heisenberg model
chiral spin liquid
Abstract:Frustrated spin systems on Kagome lattices have long been considered to be a promising candidate for realizing exotic spin liquid phases. Recently, there has been a lot of renewed interest in these systems with the discovery of experimental materials such as Volborthite and Herbertsmithite that have Kagome like structures. In this thesis I will focus on studying frustrated spin systems on the Kagome lattice using a spin-1/2 antiferromagnetic XXZ Heisenberg model in the presence of an external magnetic field as well as other perturbations. Such a system is expected to give rise to magnetization platueaus which can exhibit topological characteristics in certain regimes. We will first develop a flux-attachment transformation that maps the Heisenberg spins (hard-core bosons) onto a problem of fermions coupled to a Chern-Simons gauge field. This mapping relies on being able to define a consistent Chern-Simons term on the lattice. Using this newly developed mapping we analyse the phases/magnetization plateaus that arise at the mean-field level and also consider the effects of adding fluctuations to various mean-fi eld states. Along the way, we show how to discretize an abelian Chern-Simons gauge theory on generic 2D planar lattices that satisfy certain conditions. We find that as long as there exists a one-to-one correspondence between the vertices and plaquettes defined on the graph, one can write down a discretized lattice version of the abelian Chern-Simons gauge theory. Using the newly developed flux attachment transformation, we show the existence of chiral spin liquid states for various magnetization plateaus for certain range of parameters in the XXZ Heisenberg model in the presence of an external magnetic field. Speci cally, in the regime of XY anisotropy the ground states at the 1/3 and 2/3 plateau are equivalent to a bosonic fractional quantum Hall Laughlin state with filling fraction 1/2 and that the 5/9 plateau is equivalent to the first bosonic Jain daughter state at filling fraction 2/3. Next, we also consider the effects of several perturbations: a) a chirality term, b) a Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya term, and c) a ring-exchange type term on the bowties of the kagome lattice, and inquire if they can also support chiral spin liquids as ground states. We find that the chirality term leads to a chiral spin liquid even in the absence of an uniform magnetic field, with an effective spin Hall conductance of 1/2 in the regime of XY anisotropy. The Dzyaloshinkii-Moriya term also leads a similar chiral spin liquid but only when this term is not too strong. An external magnetic field when combined with some of the above perturbations also has the possibility of giving rise to additional plateaus which also behave like chiral spin liquids in the XY regime. Under the in influence of a ring-exchange term we find that provided its coupling constant is large enough, it may trigger a phase transition into a chiral spin liquid by the spontaneous breaking of time-reversal invariance. Finally, we also present some numerical results based on some exact diagonalization studies. Here, we specifically focus on the 2/3-magnetization plateau which we previously argued should be a chiral spin liquid with a spin hall conductance of 1/2 . Such a topological state has a non-trivial ground state degeneracy and it excitations are described by semionic quasiparticles. In the numerical analysis, we analyse the ground state degeneracy structure on various Kagome clusters of different sizes. We compute modular matrices from the resultant minimally entangled states as well as the Chern numbers of various eigenstates all of which provide strong evidence that the 2/3-magnetization plateau very closely resembles a chiral spin liquid state with the expected characteristics.
Issue Date:2016-11-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ponnuraj Krishnakumar
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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