Fracton-elasticity duality of two-dimensional superfluid vortex crystals: defect interactions and quantum melting

Dung Xuan Nguyen, Andrey Gromov, Sergej Moroz

SciPost Phys. 9, 076 (2020) · published 19 November 2020


Employing the fracton-elastic duality, we develop a low-energy effective theory of a zero-temperature vortex crystal in a two-dimensional bosonic superfluid which naturally incorporates crystalline topological defects. We extract static interactions between these defects and investigate several continuous quantum transitions triggered by the Higgs condensation of vortex vacancies/interstitials and dislocations. We propose that the quantum melting of the vortex crystal towards the hexatic or smectic phase may occur via a pair of continuous transitions separated by an intermediate vortex supersolid phase.

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