Deconfined metallic quantum criticality: a U(2) gauge theoretic approach



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20020073

Abstract

We discuss a new class of quantum phase transitions --- Deconfined Mott Transition (DMT) --- that describe a continuous transition between a Fermi liquid metal with a generic electronic Fermi surface and an insulator without emergent neutral Fermi surface. We construct a unified U(2) gauge theory to describe a variety of metallic and insulating phases, which include Fermi liquids, fractionalized Fermi liquids (FL*), conventional insulators and quantum spin liquids, as well as the quantum phase transitions between them. Using the DMT as a basic building block, we propose a distinct quantum phase transition --- Deconfined Metal-Metal Transition (DM2T) --- that describes a continuous transition between two metallic phases, accompanied by a jump in the size of their Fermi surfaces (also dubbed a 'Fermi transition'). We study these new classes of deconfined metallic quantum critical points using a renormalization group framework at the leading nontrivial order in a controlled double-expansion and comment on the various interesting scenarios that can emerge going beyond this leading order calculation.