3 years ago

Orbital currents in insulating and doped antiferromagnets.

Subir Sachdev, Mathias S. Scheurer

We describe square lattice spin liquids which break time-reversal symmetry, while preserving translational symmetry. The states are distinguished by the manner in which they transform under mirror symmetries. All the states have spontaneous orbital charge currents in the bulk (even in the insulator), but in some cases, orbital currents are non-zero only in a formulation with three orbitals per unit cell. The states are formulated using both the bosonic and fermionic spinon approaches. We describe states with $\mathbb{Z}_2$ and U(1) bulk topological order, and the chiral spin liquid with semionic excitations. The chiral spin liquid has no orbital currents in the one-band formulation, but does have orbital currents in the three-band formulation. We discuss application to the cuprate superconductors, after postulating that the broken time-reversal and mirror symmetries persist into confining phases which may also break other symmetries. In particular, the broken symmetries of the chiral spin liquid could persist into the N\'eel state.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1808.04826

DOI: arXiv:1808.04826v1

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