Mechanism for sub-gap optical conductivity in honeycomb Kitaev materials.
Motivated by recent terahertz absorption measurements in $\alpha$-RuCl$_3$, we develop a theory for the electromagnetic absorption of materials described by the Kitaev model on the honeycomb lattice. We derive a mechanism for the polarization operator at second order in the nearest neighbor hopping Hamiltonian. Using exact results of the Kitaev honeycomb model, we then calculate the polarization dynamical correlation function corresponding to electric dipole transitions, in addition to the spin dynamical correlation function corresponding to magnetic dipole transitions.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.00308