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Critical properties of a comb lattice

Natalia Chepiga, Steven R. White

SciPost Phys. 9, 013 (2020) · published 27 July 2020


In this paper we study the critical properties of the Heisenberg spin-1/2 model on a comb lattice -- a 1D backbone decorated with finite 1D chains -- the teeth. We address the problem numerically by a comb tensor network that duplicates the geometry of a lattice. We observe a fundamental difference between the states on a comb with even and odd number of sites per tooth, which resembles an even-odd effect in spin-1/2 ladders. The comb with odd teeth is always critical, not only along the teeth, but also along the backbone, which leads to a competition between two critical regimes in orthogonal directions. In addition, we show that in a weak-backbone limit the excitation energy scales as $1/(NL)$, and not as $1/N$ or $1/L$ typical for 1D systems. For even teeth in the weak backbone limit the system corresponds to a collection of decoupled critical chains of length $L$, while in the strong backbone limit, one spin from each tooth forms the backbone, so the effective length of a critical tooth is one site shorter, $L-1$. Surprisingly, these two regimes are connected via a state where a critical chain spans over two nearest neighbor teeth, with an effective length $2L$.

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Heisenberg spin chains

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