Publication details

Phase diagram and spin correlations of the Kitaev-Heisenberg model: Importance of quantum effects



Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Physical Review B
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web Full Text
Field Solid matter physics and magnetism
Keywords quantum magnetism; spin systems; frustration; spin liquid
Description We explore the phase diagram of the Kitaev-Heisenberg model with nearest neighbor interactions on the honeycomb lattice using the exact diagonalization of finite systems combined with the cluster mean field approximation, and supplemented by the insights from analytic approaches: the linear spin-wave and second-order perturbation theories. This study confirms that by varying the balance between the Heisenberg and Kitaev term, frustrated exchange interactions stabilize in this model either one of four phases with magnetic long range order: Neel phase, ferromagnetic phase, and two other phases with coexisting antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic bonds, zigzag and stripy phase, or one of two distinct spin-liquid phases. Out of these latter disordered phases, the one with ferromagnetic Kitaev interactions has a substantially broader range of stability as the neighboring competing ordered phases, ferromagnetic and stripy, have very weak quantum fluctuations. Focusing on the quantum spin-liquid phases, we study spatial spin correlations and dynamic spin structure factor of the model by the exact diagonalization technique, and discuss the evolution of gapped low-energy spin response across the quantum phase transitions between the disordered spin liquid and phases with long range magnetic order.
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