Quantum criticality of vanadium chains with strong relativistic spin-orbit interaction

Gia Wei Chern, Natalia Perkins, George I. Japaridze

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We study quantum phase transitions induced by the on-site spin-orbit interaction λL·S in a toy model of vanadium chains. In the λ→0 limit, the decoupled spin and orbital sectors are described by a Haldane and an Ising chain, respectively. The gapped ground state is composed of a ferro-orbital order and a spin liquid with finite correlation lengths. In the opposite limit, strong spin-orbital entanglement results in a simultaneous spin and orbital-moment ordering, which can be viewed as an orbital liquid. Using a combination of analytical arguments and density-matrix renormalization-group calculation, we show that an intermediate phase, where the ferro-orbital state is accompanied by a spin Néel order, is bounded on both sides by Ising transition lines. Implications for vanadium compounds CaV2 O4 and ZnV2 O4 are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number172408
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 18 2010

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