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Title:  Frustrated spin systems, an MPS approach
Author:  Seyed N. Saadatmand
As Contributor:   Seyed Nariman Saadatmand
Type: Ph.D.
Discipline: Physics
Domain: Theor. & Comp.
Subject area: Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
Degree granting institution:  The University of Queensland
Supervisor(s): Ian P. McCulloch
Defense date:  2017-06-28


In spin lattices, frustration happens when there exists a competition between different terms of the Hamiltonian, which cannot be simultaneously minimized in all local physical bases. Frustration can destabilize the bipartite Néel order, which is the conventional groundstate of antiferromagnetic Heisenberg-type models in two dimensions. Hence, the focus of two-dimensional quantum magnetism studies has been directed toward elucidating the zero-temperature properties of Heisenberg-type models on the Archimedean lattices that exhibit geometrical frustration. This type of frustration is of great interest since it can lead to exotic forms of the quantum matter, such as topological spin-liquid (SL) and many-sublattice long-range-ordered phases. The spin-1/2 triangular Heisenberg model (THM) is a prototypical model with geometrical frustration, which has the highest coordination number of all Archimedean lattices. However, there exist two major, distinct difficulties for numerical methods to efficiently determine the groundstate properties of the THM: the immense dimension of the Hilbert space and the geometrical frustration phenomenon. In this thesis, to deal with such difficulties, we employ the state-of-the-art non-Abelian matrix product states (MPS) and density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) methods. We exploit the symmetries of the Hamiltonian to reduce the working dimension of the Hilbert space and, to lessen the effects of the geometrical frustration, we depend on the local entanglement (area-law) nature of the MPS as it scales with the size of a lattice subspace with reduced spatial dimensions. In such a way, we thoroughly examine the phase diagram of the THM with nearest and next-nearest neighbor (NN and NNN) exchange couplings on finite- and infinite-length cylinders of widths up to 12 sites. In addition, we develop new numerical tools to analyze topological and symmetry-broken phases in the context of the SU(2)-symmetric translation-invariant MPS algorithm. We establish that on infinite cylinders, the anyonic sectors of a topological order can be classified through the fractionalization of global symmetries and degeneracy patterns of the entanglement spectrum (ES). On the other hand, we detect symmetry-breaking phase transitions by a combination of the correlation lengths and second and fourth cumulants of the magnetic order parameters, even though symmetry implies that the order parameter itself is strictly zero. Furthermore, the appearance of Nambu-Goldstone modes in the excitation spectrum can be detected using “tower of states” (TOS) levels in the momentum-resolved ES. By applying the new tools to the THM, we discover a variety of exotic groundstates such as a Z2-gauge toric-code-type topological order (with vison and spinon excitations), a NNN Majumdar-Gosh, and a long-range 120◦-ordered state.

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