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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dyon condensation in topological Mott insulators

  • Author(s): Cho, Gil Young
  • Xu, Cenke
  • Moore, Joel E
  • Kim, Yong Baek
  • et al.

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We consider quantum phase transitions out of topological Mott insulators in which the ground state of the fractionalized excitations (fermionic spinons) is topologically non-trivial. The spinons in topological Mott insulators are coupled to an emergent compact U(1) gauge field with a so-called 'axion' term. We study the confinement transitions from the topological Mott insulator to broken symmetry phases, which may occur via the condensation of dyons. Dyons carry both 'electric' and 'magnetic' charges, and arise naturally in this system because the monopoles of the emergent U(1) gauge theory acquire gauge charge due to the axion term. It is shown that the dyon condensate, in general, induces simultaneous current and bond orders. To demonstrate this, we study the confined phase of the topological Mott insulator on the cubic lattice. When the magnetic transition is driven by dyon condensation, we identify the bond order as valence bond solid order and the current order as scalar spin chirality order. Hence, the confined phase of the topological Mott insulator is an exotic phase where the scalar spin chirality and the valence bond order coexist and appear via a single transition. We discuss the implications of our results for generic models of topological Mott insulators.

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