Interplay of charge and spin fluctuations of strongly interacting electrons on the kagome lattice
Physical Review B
We study electrons hopping on a kagome lattice at third filling described by an extended Hubbard Hamiltonian with on-site and nearest-neighbour repulsions in the strongly correlated limit. As a consequence of the commensurate filling and the large interactions, each triangle has precisely two electrons in the effective low energy description, and these electrons form chains of different lengths. The effective Hamiltonian includes the ring exchange around the hexagons as well as the
... bor Heisenberg interaction. Using large scale exact diagonalization, we find that the effective model exhibits two different phases: If the charge fluctuations are small, the magnetic fluctuations confine the charges to short loops around hexagons, yielding a gapped charge ordered phase. When the charge fluctuations dominate, the system undergoes a quantum phase transition to a resonating plaquette phase with ordered spins and gapless spin excitations. We find that a peculiar conservation law is fulfilled: the electron in the chains can be divided into two sublattices, and this division is conserved by the ring exchange term.