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A model study of strong correlations in Hund metals. the Numerical Renormalization Group as efficient multi-band impurity solver for Dynamical Mean-Field Theory
A model study of strong correlations in Hund metals. the Numerical Renormalization Group as efficient multi-band impurity solver for Dynamical Mean-Field Theory
For a long time strong electronic correlations in metals have mainly been associated with Mottness, the proximity to a Mott metal-insulator transition (MIT), where large Coulomb interactions induce the localization of charges. However, triggered by the discovery of the iron-based superconductors about ten years ago, it was realized that multi-orbital materials with only moderate Coulomb but sizeable Hund’s rule interactions – so-called Hund metals – allow for a distinct screening mechanism towards strong correlations: Hundness. Here, Hund’s rule constrains the spin rather than the charge dynamics. This discovery led to a vividly debated fundamental issue in the field of strongly correlated condensed matter systems, which is the main topic of the present thesis: what is the origin of strong correlations in the normal phase of Hund metals, Mottness or Hundness? And what are their decisive fingerprints? The goal of this dissertation is twofold. First, we present and advance our method: the numerical renormalization group (NRG) as viable real-frequency multi-band impurity solver for dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT), a common approach to tackle strongly correlated systems. Second, we apply DMFT+NRG to shed light on the Hund-metal problem raised above. In the first part of this thesis we present our state-of-the-art NRG solver, which offers direct access to data with unprecedented real-frequency spectral resolution at arbitrarily low energies and temperatures in contrast to commonly used Quantum Monte Carlo solvers. It is based on matrix product states and exploits non-abelian symmetries to reduce numerical costs. In the case of orbital symmetry, this allows us to treat multi-band models with more than two bands, and thus to tackle the Hund-metal problem for the first time with NRG. For multi-band models without orbital symmetry, an “interleaved” scheme of NRG (iNRG) was recently developed, dramatically increasing the numerical efficiency. Remarkably, the accuracy of iNRG is comparable to standard NRG, as we reveal in a detailed study. This finding establishes iNRG as a promising DMFT solver for material-specific model simulations. In the second part of this thesis we study a minimal toy model for Hund metals with DMFT+NRG, the orbital-symmetric three-band Hubbard-Hund model (3HHM) close to a lattice filling of 1/3. Our major insight is “spin-orbital separation” (SOS), a Hund’s-ruleinduced two-stage Kondo-type screening process, in which orbital screening occurs at much higher energies than spin screening. In Hund metals, i.e. far from a MIT phase boundary, SOS thus causes large electron masses by strongly reducing the coherence scale below which a Fermi liquid is formed. Further, it opens up a broad incoherent and strongly particle-hole asymmetric intermediate energy regime that reaches up to bare excitation scales. This SOS regime shows fractional power-law behavior and is characterized by resilient “Hund quasiparticles” with itinerant orbital degrees of freedom coupled non-trivially to quasi-free large spins. At zero temperature, the local density of states exhibits a two-tier quasiparticle peak on top of a broad incoherent background. In contrast, in Mott-correlated metals, i.e. close to the MIT phase boundary, the SOS regime becomes negligibly small and the Hubbard bands are well separated. These findings lead to distinct signatures of Hundness and Mottness in the temperature dependence of ARPES spectra, static local susceptibilities, resistivity, thermopower and entropy, many of which were also found in realistic simulations of the archetypal Hund- and Mott-correlated materials, Sr2RuO4 and V2O3. In summary, we provide evidence that and elucidate how Hundness evokes strong correlation effects in Hund metals. This might help to better interpret experimental results and guide superconducting theories.
Strong electronic correlations, Hund metals, Hund's rule coupling, Numerical Renormalization Group, Dynamical Mean-Field Theory, spin-orbital separation, 3-band Hubbard-Hund model
Stadler, Katharina Maria
2019
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Stadler, Katharina Maria (2019): A model study of strong correlations in Hund metals: the Numerical Renormalization Group as efficient multi-band impurity solver for Dynamical Mean-Field Theory. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

For a long time strong electronic correlations in metals have mainly been associated with Mottness, the proximity to a Mott metal-insulator transition (MIT), where large Coulomb interactions induce the localization of charges. However, triggered by the discovery of the iron-based superconductors about ten years ago, it was realized that multi-orbital materials with only moderate Coulomb but sizeable Hund’s rule interactions – so-called Hund metals – allow for a distinct screening mechanism towards strong correlations: Hundness. Here, Hund’s rule constrains the spin rather than the charge dynamics. This discovery led to a vividly debated fundamental issue in the field of strongly correlated condensed matter systems, which is the main topic of the present thesis: what is the origin of strong correlations in the normal phase of Hund metals, Mottness or Hundness? And what are their decisive fingerprints? The goal of this dissertation is twofold. First, we present and advance our method: the numerical renormalization group (NRG) as viable real-frequency multi-band impurity solver for dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT), a common approach to tackle strongly correlated systems. Second, we apply DMFT+NRG to shed light on the Hund-metal problem raised above. In the first part of this thesis we present our state-of-the-art NRG solver, which offers direct access to data with unprecedented real-frequency spectral resolution at arbitrarily low energies and temperatures in contrast to commonly used Quantum Monte Carlo solvers. It is based on matrix product states and exploits non-abelian symmetries to reduce numerical costs. In the case of orbital symmetry, this allows us to treat multi-band models with more than two bands, and thus to tackle the Hund-metal problem for the first time with NRG. For multi-band models without orbital symmetry, an “interleaved” scheme of NRG (iNRG) was recently developed, dramatically increasing the numerical efficiency. Remarkably, the accuracy of iNRG is comparable to standard NRG, as we reveal in a detailed study. This finding establishes iNRG as a promising DMFT solver for material-specific model simulations. In the second part of this thesis we study a minimal toy model for Hund metals with DMFT+NRG, the orbital-symmetric three-band Hubbard-Hund model (3HHM) close to a lattice filling of 1/3. Our major insight is “spin-orbital separation” (SOS), a Hund’s-ruleinduced two-stage Kondo-type screening process, in which orbital screening occurs at much higher energies than spin screening. In Hund metals, i.e. far from a MIT phase boundary, SOS thus causes large electron masses by strongly reducing the coherence scale below which a Fermi liquid is formed. Further, it opens up a broad incoherent and strongly particle-hole asymmetric intermediate energy regime that reaches up to bare excitation scales. This SOS regime shows fractional power-law behavior and is characterized by resilient “Hund quasiparticles” with itinerant orbital degrees of freedom coupled non-trivially to quasi-free large spins. At zero temperature, the local density of states exhibits a two-tier quasiparticle peak on top of a broad incoherent background. In contrast, in Mott-correlated metals, i.e. close to the MIT phase boundary, the SOS regime becomes negligibly small and the Hubbard bands are well separated. These findings lead to distinct signatures of Hundness and Mottness in the temperature dependence of ARPES spectra, static local susceptibilities, resistivity, thermopower and entropy, many of which were also found in realistic simulations of the archetypal Hund- and Mott-correlated materials, Sr2RuO4 and V2O3. In summary, we provide evidence that and elucidate how Hundness evokes strong correlation effects in Hund metals. This might help to better interpret experimental results and guide superconducting theories.