Extended quantum U(1)-liquid phase in a three-dimensional quantum dimer model

Olga Sikora, Nic Shannon, Frank Pollmann, Karlo Penc, Peter Fulde

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, quantum dimer models have attracted a great deal of interest as a paradigm for the study of exotic quantum phases. Much of this excitement has centered on the claim that a certain class of quantum dimer model can support a quantum U(1)-liquid phase with deconfined fractional excitations in three dimensions. These fractional monomer excitations are quantum analogs of the magnetic monopoles found in spin ice. In this paper, we use extensive quantum Monte Carlo simulations to establish the ground-state phase diagram of the quantum dimer model on the three-dimensional diamond lattice as a function of the ratio μ of the potential to kinetic-energy terms in the Hamiltonian. We find that, for μc=0.75±0.02, the model undergoes a first-order quantum phase transition from an ordered "R state" into an extended quantum U(1)-liquid phase, which terminates in a quantum critical Rokhsar-Kivelson (RK) point for μ=1. This confirms the published field-theoretical scenario. We present detailed evidence for the existence of the U(1)-liquid phase and indirect evidence for the existence of its photon and monopole excitations. Simulations are benchmarked against a variety of exact and perturbative results, and a comparison is made of different variational wave functions. We also explore the ergodicity of the quantum dimer model on a diamond lattice within a given flux sector, identifying a new conserved quantity related to transition graphs of dimer configurations. These results complete and extend the previous analysis of O. Sikora.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115129
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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