Symmetric $Z_2$ spin liquids and their neighboring phases on triangular lattice

Research paper by Yuan-Ming Lu

Indexed on: 12 Apr '16Published on: 12 Apr '16Published in: Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons


Motivated by recent numerical discovery of a gapped spin liquid phase in spin-$1/2$ triangular-lattice $J_1$-$J_2$ Heisenberg model, we classify symmetric $Z_2$ spin liquids on triangular lattice in the Abrikosov-fermion representation. We find 20 phases with distinct spinon symmetry quantum numbers, 8 of which have their counterparts in the Schwinger-boson representation. Among them we identify 2 promising candidates (#1 and #20), which can realize a gapped $Z_2$ spin liquid with up to next nearest neighbor mean-field amplitudes. We analyze their neighboring magnetic orders and valence bond solid patterns, and find one state (#20) that is connected to 120-degree Neel order by a continuous quantum phase transition. We also identify gapped nematic $Z_2$ spin liquids in the neighborhood of the symmetric states and find 3 promising candidates (#1, #6 and #20).