[Seminar] Disorder effects in the Kitaev-Heisenberg model
Dr. Ayushi Singhania / Institute for Theoretical Solid State Physics, IFW Dresden, Germany
Disorder effects in the Kitaev-Heisenberg model
We study the interplay of disorder and Heisenberg interactions in the Kitaev model on a honeycomb lattice. The effect of disorder on the transition between Kitaev spin liquid and magnetic ordered states as well as the stability of magnetic ordering is investigated. Using Lanczos exact diagonalization we discuss the consequences of two types of disorder: (i) random-coupling disorder and (ii) singular-coupling disorder. They exhibit qualitatively similar effects in the pure Kitaev-Heisenberg model without long-range interactions. The range of spin-liquid phases is reduced and the transition to magnetic ordered phases becomes more crossoverlike.
Furthermore, the long-range zigzag and stripy orderings in the clean system are replaced by their three domains with different ordering direction. Especially in the crossover range the coexistence of magnetically ordered and Kitaev spin-liquid domains is possible. With increasing the disorder strength the area of domains becomes smaller and the system goes into a spin-glass state. However, the disorder effect is different in magnetically ordered phases caused by long-range interactions. The stability of such magnetic ordering is diminished by singular-coupling disorder and, accordingly, the range of the spin-liquid regime is extended. This mechanism may be relevant to materials like α-RuCl 3 and H3 LiIr 2 O6 where the zigzag ground state is stabilized by weak long-range interactions. We also find that the flux gap closes at a critical disorder strength and vortices appears in the flux arrangement. Interestingly, the vortices tend to form kinds of commensurate ordering.
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