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Pairing of holes by confining strings in antiferromagnets

by Fabian Grusdt, Eugene Demler, Annabelle Bohrdt

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Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Fabian Grusdt
Submission information
Preprint Link: scipost_202301_00008v1  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2023-02-13
Date submitted: 2023-01-06 12:39
Submitted by: Grusdt, Fabian
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Theory
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
Approach: Theoretical


In strongly correlated quantum materials, the behavior of charge carriers is dominated by strong electron-electron interactions. These can lead to insulating states with spin order, and upon doping to competing ordered states including unconventional superconductivity. The underlying pairing mechanism remains poorly understood however, even in strongly simplified theoretical models. Recent advances in quantum simulation allow to study pairing in paradigmatic settings, e.g. in the $t-J$ and $t-J_z$ Hamiltonians. Even there, the most basic properties of paired states of only two dopants, such as their dispersion relation and excitation spectra, remain poorly studied in many cases. Here we provide new analytical insights into a possible string-based pairing mechanism of mobile holes in an antiferromagnet. We analyze an effective model of partons connected by a confining string and calculate the spectral properties of bound states. Our model is equally relevant for understanding Hubbard-Mott excitons consisting of a bound doublon-hole pair or confined states of dynamical matter in lattice gauge theories, which motivates our study of different parton statistics. Although an accurate semi-analytic estimation of binding energies is challenging, our theory provides a detailed understanding of the internal structure of pairs. For example, in a range of settings we predict heavy states of immobile pairs with flat-band dispersions -- including for the lowest-energy $d$-wave pair of fermions. Our findings shed new light on the long-standing question about the origin of pairing and competing orders in high-temperature superconductors.

List of changes

• In the introduction we have added a reference to [Mezzacaop et al., PRB 94, 155120 (2016)];
• In the outlook we have added references to [Brügger et al., PRB 74, 224432 (2006)] and
[Danilov et al., npc Quantum Materials 7, 50 (2022)];
• Following the comment by Reviewer 1, we have added a clarifying statement that loop
configurations of strings can reasonably be neglected in the relevant range of string lengths
considered (below 10)
• Following the comment by Reviewer 1, we have added a clarifying statement that we only
consider values of t/J < 25, before the Nagaoka ferromagnetism sets in (as demonstrated by White & Affleck in PRB 64,024411 (2001).)

Published as SciPost Phys. 14, 090 (2023)

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2023-1-13 (Invited Report)


The authors have satisfactorily addressed my comments.
I recommend publication of the manuscript in its present form.

  • validity: high
  • significance: high
  • originality: good
  • clarity: high
  • formatting: excellent
  • grammar: perfect

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