Commensurate and Incommensurate States of Topological Quantum Matter

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Ashley Milsted, Emilio Cobanera, Michele Burrello, Gerardo Ortiz


Phys. Rev. B 90, 195101 (2014)

We prove numerically and by dualities the existence of modulated, commensurate and incommensurate states of topological quantum matter in simple systems of parafermions, motivated by recent proposals for the realization of such systems in mesoscopic arrays. In two space dimensions, we obtain the simplest representative of a topological universality class that we call Lifshitz. It is characterized by a topological tricritical point where a non-locally ordered homogeneous phase meets a disordered phase and a third phase that displays modulations of a non-local order parameter.