Chiral spin liquids on the kagome lattice

Krishna Kumar, Kai Sun, Eduardo Fradkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the nearest-neighbor XXZ Heisenberg quantum antiferromagnet on the kagome lattice. Here we consider the effects of several perturbations: (a) a chirality term, (b) a Dzyaloshinski-Moriya term, and (c) a ring-exchange type term on the bowties of the kagome lattice, and inquire if they can support chiral spin liquids as ground states. The method used to study these Hamiltonians is a flux attachment transformation that maps the spins on the lattice to fermions coupled to a Chern-Simons gauge field on the kagome lattice. This transformation requires us to consistently define a Chern-Simons term on the kagome lattice. We find that the chirality term leads to a chiral spin liquid even in the absence of an uniform magnetic field, with an effective spin Hall conductance of σxys=12 in the regime of XY anisotropy. The Dzyaloshinski-Moriya term also leads a similar chiral spin liquid but only when this term is not too strong. An external magnetic field also has the possibility of giving rise to additional plateaus which also behave like chiral spin liquids in the XY regime. Finally, we consider the effects of a ring-exchange term and find that, provided its coupling constant is large enough, it may trigger a phase transition into a chiral spin liquid by the spontaneous breaking of time-reversal invariance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094433
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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