Spin liquid phases of alkaline-earth-metal atoms at finite temperature

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
2013-10-11 - 2013-12-05

P. Sinkovicz, A. Zamora, E. Szirmai, M. Lewenstein, G. Szirmai


Phys. Rev. A 88, 043619 (2013)

We study spin liquid phases of spin-5/2 alkaline-earth-metal atoms on a honeycomb lattice at finite temperatures. Our analysis is based on a Gutzwiller projection variational approach recast to a path-integral formalism. In the framework of a saddle-point approximation we determine spin liquid phases with lowest free energy and study their temperature dependence. We identify a critical temperature, where all the spin liquid phases melt and the system goes to the paramagnetic phase. We also study the stability of the saddle-point solutions and show that a time-reversal symmetry breaking state, a so-called chiral spin liquid phase, is realized even at finite temperatures. We also determine the spin structure factor, which, in principle, is an experimentally measurable quantity and is the basic tool to map the spectrum of elementary excitations of the system.