Büßen, Finn Lasse ORCID: 0000-0002-7773-4665 (2019). A Functional Renormalization Group Perspective on Quantum Spin Liquids in Three-Dimensional Frustrated Magnets. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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When sizable quantum fluctuations and strong frustration mechanisms act in concert to repel the formation of conventional long-range order in quantum magnets, they can make way for massively entangled spin liquid phases which may imbue the material with extraordinary properties. The search for such curious phases of matter has proceeded for several decades, gaining extra momentum some fifteen years ago when Kitaev proposed an analytically solvable model for a quantum spin liquid with anyonic excitations on the basis of realistic microscopic spin exchange terms [Kitaev, Annals of Physics 321, 2 (2006)]. Attempts to identify different models or materials which harbor quantum spin liquid ground states have kept researchers -- experimentalists and theorists alike -- in suspense ever since. However, the simulation of quantum many-body systems poses a serious challenge even to modern numerical techniques, particularly in the case of frustrated quantum magnetism in three spatial dimensions. Such models evade tractability by many established approaches, leaving a methodological void. In this thesis, we report on recent progress in cutting-edge implementations of the pseudo-fermion functional renormalization group (pf-FRG), which has originally been proposed by Reuther and Wölfle in the context of two-dimensional frustrated quantum magnetism with highly symmetric spin interactions [Reuther and Wölfle, Phys. Rev. B 81, 144410 (2010)]. Reflecting the growing interest in models with SU(2) symmetry-breaking spin exchange terms that has followed the unearthing of Kitaev's honeycomb model, we present a generalized implementation of the pf-FRG which is suited to numerically simulate arbitrary microscopic models with diagonal or off-diagonal two-spin interactions, even in three-dimensional frustrated quantum magnets. We provide insight into the inner workings of the method which has emerged over the course of the last couple of years, arguing that the pf-FRG formalism simultaneously combines aspects of a large-S expansion as well as a large-N expansion on equal footing, thus being able to resolve the subtle interplay between magnetic ordering tendencies and disruptive quantum fluctuations. Moreover, on a case by case basis we explore the stability of quantum spin liquids in paradigmatic models of frustrated quantum magnetism and elucidate the joint action of geometric frustration, exchange frustration, and quantum fluctuations to inhibit the formation of magnetic long-range order. Examples include: (i) a Heisenberg spin model on the three-dimensional diamond lattice where geometric frustration arises from antiferromagnetic next-nearest neighbor interactions. The additional competition with nearest neighbor interactions leads to an unusually large ground state degeneracy already on classical level. The quantum-to-classical transition is studied by systematically varying the spin length and the different roles of quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations are discussed. The theory is applied to interpret experiments on the spin-liquid candidate NiRh2O4; (ii) a Heisenberg antiferromagnet on the face centered cubic lattice which is augmented by competing bond-directional interactions, evolving around the concurrent manifestation of geometric frustration and exchange frustration. A situation is identified where both mechanisms collude to give rise to an unusually large degree of frustration over a wide parameter regime. We discuss related experimental findings on the highly frustrated iridate compound Ba2CeIrO6; (iii) a Heisenberg antiferromagnet on the kagome lattice with additional Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions. The robustness of the unperturbed kagome antiferromagnet's spin liquid ground state against low-symmetry Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions is investigated. Implications for the spin-liquid candidate herbertsmithite are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Büßen, Finn Lassefbuessen@thp.uni-koeln.deorcid.org/0000-0002-7773-4665UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-99866
Date: 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Physics > Institute for Theoretical Physics
Subjects: Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Frustrated magnetism; Strongly correlated electrons; Quantum spin liquid; Functional renormalization groupEnglish
Date of oral exam: 23 August 2019
NameAcademic Title
Trebst, SimonProf. Dr.
Scherer, MichaelPriv.-Doz.
Thomale, RonnyProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/9986


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