Random-singlet phase in disordered two-dimensional quantum magnets
Sandvik, Anders W.
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Citation (published version)Lu Liu, Hui Shao, Yu-Cheng Lin, Wenan Guo, Anders W Sandvik. "Random-Singlet Phase in Disordered Two-Dimensional Quantum Magnets."
We study effects of disorder (randomness) in a 2D square-lattice S=1/2 quantum spin system, the J-Q model with a 6-spin interaction Q supplementing the Heisenberg exchange J. In the absence of disorder the system hosts antiferromagnetic (AFM) and columnar valence-bond-solid (VBS) ground states. The VBS breaks Z4 symmetry, and in the presence of arbitrarily weak disorder it forms domains. Using QMC simulations, we demonstrate two kinds of such disordered VBS states. Upon dilution, a removed site leaves a localized spin in the opposite sublattice. These spins form AFM order. For random interactions, we find a different state, with no order but algebraically decaying mean correlations. We identify localized spinons at the nexus of domain walls between different VBS patterns. These spinons form correlated groups with the same number of spinons and antispinons. Within such a group, there is a strong tendency to singlet formation, because of spinon-spinon interactions mediated by the domain walls. Thus, no long-range AFM order forms. We propose that this state is a 2D analog of the well-known 1D random singlet (RS) state, though the dynamic exponent z in 2D is finite. By studying the T-dependent magnetic susceptibility, we find that z varies, from z=2 at the AFM--RS phase boundary and larger in the RS phase The RS state discovered here in a system without geometric frustration should correspond to the same fixed point as the RS state recently proposed for frustrated systems, and the ability to study it without Monte Carlo sign problems opens up opportunities for further detailed characterization of its static and dynamic properties. We also discuss experimental evidence of the RS phase in the quasi-two-dimensional square-lattice random-exchange quantum magnets Sr2CuTe1−xWxO6.