Theoretical Nanophysics

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Detecting and destroying quantum spin liquids with metallic leads

Elio König, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (Stuttgart)

17.12.2021 at 09:00 

Abstract: Quantum Spin Liquids have recently enjoyed renewed interest. This is partly driven by synergies with quantum information theory and by the experimental progress, which provides evidence for new material realizations, in particular in 2D van-der-Waals materials. The chemical versatility of this platform allows and requires the study of new probes in device geometries combining quantum spin liquids with, e.g., metals or semimetals, and to reconsider the question of stability of spin liquids immersed in a fermionic bath. As an exemplary toy model, I will demonstrate that a simple triangular Kondo-Heisenberg cluster impurity displays a topological phase and a trivial phase, which are separated by a deconfinement transition driven by the proliferation of monopole like gauge field excitations which is reminiscent of the confinement transition in 2D U(1) quantum spin liquids. In the second part, I present a comprehensive study of electrical tunneling signatures of Kitaev quantum spin liquids in van der Waals heterostructures. I argue that momentum conserving tunneling setups, such as planar tunneling and the tunneling between quantum Hall edges are experimentally particularly suitable. Finally, I will discuss the spinon-mediated drag resistance in appropriate metal-spin liquid-metal heterostructures, both for Z2 and U(1) quantum spin liquids.