Topological bootstrap: Fractionalization from Kondo coupling

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Science Advances  06 Oct 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 10, e1700729
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700729


Topologically ordered phases of matter can host fractionalized excitations known as “anyons,” which obey neither Bose nor Fermi statistics. Despite forming the basis for topological quantum computation, experimental access to these exotic phases has been very limited. We present a new route toward realizing fractionalized topological phases by literally building on unfractionalized phases, which are much more easily realized experimentally. Our approach involves a Kondo lattice model in which a gapped electronic system of noninteracting fermions is coupled to local moments via the exchange interaction. Using general entanglement-based arguments and explicit lattice models, we show that gapped spin liquids can be induced in the spin system, and we demonstrate the power of this “topological bootstrap” by realizing chiral and Z2 spin liquids. This technique enables the realization of many long sought-after fractionalized phases of matter.

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