Bose metals and insulators on multileg ladders with ring exchange

Ryan V. Mishmash, Matthew S. Block, Ribhu K. Kaul, D. N. Sheng, Olexei I. Motrunich, Matthew P.A. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We establish compelling evidence for the existence of new quasi-one-dimensional descendants of the d-wave Bose liquid (DBL), an exotic two-dimensional quantum phase of uncondensed itinerant bosons characterized by surfaces of gapless excitations in momentum space. In particular, motivated by a strong-coupling analysis of the gauge theory for the DBL, we study a model of hard-core bosons moving on the N-leg square ladder with frustrating four-site ring exchange. Here, we focus on four- and three-leg systems where we have identified two novel phases: a compressible gapless Bose metal on the four-leg ladder and an incompressible gapless Mott insulator on the three-leg ladder. The former is conducting along the ladder and has five gapless modes, one more than the number of legs. This represents a significant step forward in establishing the potential stability of the DBL in two dimensions. The latter, on the other hand, is a fundamentally quasi-one-dimensional phase that is insulating along the ladder but has two gapless modes and incommensurate power-law transverse density-density correlations. While we have already presented results on this latter phase elsewhere, we will expand upon those results in this work. In both cases, we can understand the nature of the phase using slave-particle-inspired variational wave functions consisting of a product of two distinct Slater determinants, the properties of which compare impressively well to a density matrix renormalization group solution of the model Hamiltonian. Stability arguments are made in favor of both quantum phases by accessing the universal low-energy physics with a bosonization analysis of the appropriate quasi-1D gauge theory. We will briefly discuss the potential relevance of these findings to high-temperature superconductors, cold atomic gases, and frustrated quantum magnets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245127
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 27 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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