Strong correlation effects in itinerant systems and space-time symmetry in dynamical condensed matter systems
One of the central goals of condensed matter theory is to understand the behavior of electrons under various circumstances. This dissertation focuses on the some relatively unexplored effects brought by lattices, in a general setting.
One ingredient that lattices introduce is the orbital degrees of freedom, resulting from the interaction between electrons and background ions. We have non-perturbatively studied a strongly coupled multi-orbital electron liquid, which has a fully polarized ground state. Both Hund’s coupling and electron itinerancy are essential to building up the global spin coherence. At finite temperature, the system exhibits both Curie-Weiss type spin susceptibility and finite compressibility, demonstrating the coexistence of spin coherence and charge incoherence. At low temperature, the single particle excitation extends over the entire Brillouin zone rather than the vicinity of the Fermi surface due to the spin fluctuation.
Another dramatic effect of lattices on electrons is the formation of Mott insulators. We consider a special type of Mott insulators occurring at non-integer fillings, which has a finite single-particle gap but strong local charge fluctuation. As an example, we studied 1D Hubbard model with SU(N) symmetry at half-filling. The systems are insulators for all values of N, but the filling is half-integer when N is odd. We demonstrate that the systems with N even and N odd exhibit distinct energy scales of charge and spin gaps. In the case of odd N, the local charge fluctuation leads to spin gap much greater than the super exchange energy scale. The difference between the systems with opposite parity of N is gradually smeared out as N increases.
The symmetry of lattices can also enforce band touchings and band crossing, leading to nodal-line and nodal-point semi-metals. We explore the symmetry constraints on electrons imposed by generalized lattices with space-time mixing periodicities. which include the Floquet lattice systems as a special case. Compared to space and magnetic groups, the symmetry group of such systems is augmented by “time-screw” rotations and “time-glide” reflections involving fractional time translations. A complete classification of the 13 space-time groups in 1+1D and 275 space-time groups in 2+1D are performed. Kramers-type degeneracy can arise from space-time symmetries without the half-integer spinor structure, which constrains the winding number patterns of spectral dispersions. In 2+1D, non-symmorphic space-time symmetries enforce spectral degeneracies, leading to protected Floquet semi-metal states.