Authors: Hafez Torbati, Mohsen
Title: Excitation spectrum and quantum phase transitions in the one-dimensional ionic Hubbard model
Other Titles: Continuous unitary transformations approach
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Strongly correlated electron systems are one of the most fascinating problems in current physics. The strong electron-electron interaction in these materials leads to the emergence of nontrivial elementary excitations (quasiparticles, QPs) above the ground state ranging from fractional spins in quasi-one-dimensional materials to magnetic monopole in the pyrochlore lattice. The condensation of these quasiparticles upon changing some external parameters may stabilize new exotic states of matter. Experimental measurements such as inelastic neutron scattering provide us with valuable information about the excitation spectrum of such systems which require microscopic models to be described. This thesis is devoted to a detailed analysis of the excitation spectrum and of the quantum phase transitions in the one-dimensional (1D) ionic Hubbard model (IHM). The IHM consists of a nearest-neighbor (n.n.) hopping, onsite Hubbard interaction, and an ionic (staggered) potential separating the odd and even sites energetically. The model exhibits two continuous phase transitions on increasing the Hubbard interaction identified by a low-energy effective field theory and confirmed by a rigorous density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) analysis after several attempts. The first transition occurs from band insulator (BI) phase to the 2-fold degenerate spontaneously dimerized insulator (SDI) phase. The transition is in the Ising universality class as is plausible from symmetry considerations. The SDI phase becomes unstable towards a quasi-long-range order Mott insulator (MI) phase at a second transition point resembling the Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) transition in the frustrated Heisenberg chain. We employ continuous unitary transformations (CUT) to systematically map the IHM to effective Hamiltonians (almost) conserving the number of QPs in the system. Using an analysis in the BI regime where electrons and holes define QPs, the low-energy excitation spectrum of the model is quantitatively determined in the BI phase almost up to the first transition point. The transition from the BI to the SDI phase is signaled by the vanishing of an S=0 exciton mode at the total momentum K=\pi. The condensation of these excitons beyond the first transition point is described by a BCS-type-theory showing the stabilization of the SDI phase. The mean-field solution indicates no second phase transition to the quasi-long-range order MI phase. This is interpreted as the effect of strong quantum fluctuations in one dimension. We consider the IHM in the dimer limit where the uniform chain is separated into independent dimers. The different phases of the IHM are studied by increasing the interdimer hopping and reaching the uniform limit. This dimer limit satisfactorily produces the excitation spectrum of the BI phase confirming the vanishing of an S=0 exciton mode at the first transition point. It is found that the SDI-to-MI transition takes place by softening of a magnetic S=1 excitation, i.e., a triplon. We report rigorous results for the gapless triplon dispersion in the MI phase and discuss the binding effects in the 2-triplon sector.
Subject Headings: Condensed matter physics
Hubbard model
Quantum phase transition
Bound states
Subject Headings (RSWK): Hubbard-Modell
Kondensierte Materie
Inelastische Neutronenstreuung
Issue Date: 2014
Appears in Collections:Theoretische Physik I

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