4 Corners Southwest Ontario Condensed Matter Physics Symposium 2014
Tb2Ti2O7 was one of the first pyrochlore magnets to be studied as a candidate for a spin liquid or cooperative paramagnet, and its ground state has remained enigmatic for fifteen years. Recent time-of-flight neutron scattering studies have shown that it enters a glassy Spin Ice ground state, characterized by frozen short range order over about 8 conventional unit cells, and the formation of a ~ 0.08 meV gap in its spin excitation spectrum at the appropriate quasi-Bragg wave vectors.
Superconducting qubits based on Josephson junctions and resonators are presently leading candidates for the implementation of quantum computing. These systems couple strongly to their environment, which often makes preservation of coherence challenging. This strong coupling can be turned into an advantage: it enables the investigation of noise and loss at low temperatures. I will discuss two topics. The first topic is the use of superconducting flux qubits to measure magnetic flux noise.
Topological crystalline insulators in IV-VI compounds host novel topological surface states, that at low energy, consist of multi-valley massless Dirac fermions. We show that strain generically acts as an effective gauge field on these Dirac fermion surface states and creates pseudo-Landau orbitals without breaking time-reversal symmetry. We predict this is naturally realized in IV-VI semiconductor heterostructures due to the spontaneous formation of a misfit dislocation array at the interface, where the zero-energy Landau orbitals form a nearly flat band.
Beta-detected nuclear spin relaxation of 8Li+ has been used to study important problems in polymer physics. In the first case we probe the depth dependence of molecular dynamics in high- and low-molecular-weight deuterated polystyrene (PS-d8). The average nuclear spin-lattice relaxation rate, 1/T1 avg, is a measure of the spectral density of the polymer dynamics at the Larmor frequency (41MHz at 6.55Tesla).
Recently, realizations of Kitaev physics have been sought in the A2IrO3 family of honeycomb iridates, originating from oxygen-mediated exchange through edge-shared octahedra. However, for the J=1/2 Mott insulator in these materials exchange from direct d-orbital overlap is relevant, and it was proposed that a Heisenberg term should be added to the Kitaev model.
Electron charge may fractionalize in a quantum spin liquid Mott insulator. We study the Mott transition from a metal to a cluster Mott insulator in the 1/4- and 1/8-filled pyrochlore lattice systems. Such Mott transitions can arise due to charge localization in clusters or in tetrahedron units, driven by the nearest-neighbor repulsion. The resulting cluster Mott insulator is a quantum spin liquid with spinon Fermi surface, but at the same time a novel fractionalized charge liquid with charge excitations carrying half the electron charge.
New states of matter may be produced if quantum effects and frustration conspire to prevent the ground state from achieving classical order. An example of a new quantum phase is the quantum spin liquid. Such spin liquids cannot be characterized by local order parameters; rather, they are distinctive by their possession of long range quantum entanglement. I will describe recent experimental progress in the quest to study quantum spin liquids in frustrated magnets.
String and particle excitations are examined in a class of 3+1D topological order described by a discrete gauge theory with a gauge group G and a 4-cocycle twist ω4∈H4(G,R/Z) of G's cohomology group. We demonstrate the topological spin and the spin-statistics relation for the closed strings, and their multi-string braiding. The 3+1D twisted gauge theory can be characterized by a representation of SL(3,Z) modular transformation, which we find its generators Sxyz and Txy in terms of the gauge group G and the 4-cocycle ω4.
We devise a renormalization group analysis for quantum field theories with Fermi surface to study scaling behaviour of non- Fermi liquid states in a controlled approximation. The non-Fermi liquid fixed points are identified from a Fermi surface in (m+1) spatial dimensions, while the co-dimension of Fermi surface is also extended to a generic value. We also study superconducting instability in such systems as a function of dimension and co-dimension of the Fermi surface.
In the search for new exotic quantum states, the impact of strong spin-orbit interaction has been recently underlined with the discovery of the Jeff = ½ spin orbital Mott state in the 5d5 layered perovskites iridates . The double perovskite structure, where the magnetic ions form a face-centered-cubic (fcc) sublattice, can accommodate a large variety of 5d transition metal elements, and therefore offers an ideal playground for systematic studies of the exotic magnetic and non-magnetic ground states stabilized by strong spin-orbit coupling .