Finite-temperature screening of U(1) fractons
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We investigate the finite-temperature screening behavior of three-dimensional U(1) spin-liquid phases with fracton excitations. Several features are shared with the conventional U(1) spin liquid. The system can exhibit spin-liquid physics over macroscopic length scales at low temperatures, but screening effects eventually lead to a smooth finite-temperature crossover to a trivial phase at sufficiently large distances. However, unlike more conventional U(1) spin liquids, we find that complete low-temperature screening of fractons requires not only very large distances, but also very long time scales. At the longest time scales, a charged disturbance (fracton) will acquire a screening cloud of other fractons, resulting in only short-range correlations in the system. At intermediate time scales, on the other hand, a fracton can only be partially screened by a cloud of mobile excitations, leaving weak power-law correlations in the system. Such residual power-law correlations may be a useful diagnostic in an experimental search for U(1) fracton phases.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Pretko, Michael. “Finite-Temperature Screening of U (1) Fractons.” Physical Review B, vol. 96, no. 11, Sept. 2017. © 2017 American Physical Society
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