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Microscopy of spin-charge dynamics in Fermi-Hubbard chains
Microscopy of spin-charge dynamics in Fermi-Hubbard chains
Obtaining a microscopic understanding of the dynamics in strongly correlated electronic systems has remained a challenge for many decades. The interplay between the spin and charge degrees of freedom in these materials at different temperatures and dopant concentrations is not well understood and is still an area of intense scientific research. Recently, quantum simulators based on ultracold atoms in optical lattices have emerged as a promising platform to probe strongly correlated fermionic systems. This thesis reports on the work carried out with a quantum gas microscope of ultracold fermionic Li-6, where Fermi-Hubbard systems are prepared and imaged with single site spin and density resolution. The main results of the thesis explore the microscopic dynamics underlying one-dimensional materials, where individual constituents such as the electron with charge e and spin-1/2 are not relevant to the description of the system anymore and are instead replaced by spin and charge excitations that can propagate independent of one another - a phenomenon called spin-charge separation. In our quantum simulator, we use analogous one-dimensional Fermi-Hubbard chains of Li-6, to perform time- and space-resolved microscopy of the spin and charge excitations following a local quench. By extracting their strikingly different velocities and showing an absence of binding between the excitations, we demonstrate spin-charge separation. Our microscopic technique also allows us to quantitatively extract the excess spin carried by the spin excitiation, connecting our results to the phenomenon of fractionalization. In another set of experiments, Fermi-Hubbard chains are probed at equilibrium and incommensurate spin correlations arising in the presence of both density doping and spin polarization are observed. The wavevector of these incommensurate correlations are found to have a linear dependence on doping and polarization. Finally, the effect of the spin-charge interplay is probed in the crossover from one to two dimensions. The spin correlations across dopants are seen to be dramatically different in two dimensions, and the strong antiferromagnetic correlations across dopants present in one dimension disappear. For a single dopant in a fully two dimensional system, the spin-charge interplay manifests as a distorted spin cloud surrounding the dopant, indicating the formation of a magnetic polaron. The experiments reported here demonstrate the power of a quantum simulator; by probing the physics of strongly correlated systems in real space with unprecedented resolution, we can zoom into emergent phenomena, validate theories and access regimes that are not possible in other experimental settings.
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Vijayan, Jayadev
2020
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Vijayan, Jayadev (2020): Microscopy of spin-charge dynamics in Fermi-Hubbard chains. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

Obtaining a microscopic understanding of the dynamics in strongly correlated electronic systems has remained a challenge for many decades. The interplay between the spin and charge degrees of freedom in these materials at different temperatures and dopant concentrations is not well understood and is still an area of intense scientific research. Recently, quantum simulators based on ultracold atoms in optical lattices have emerged as a promising platform to probe strongly correlated fermionic systems. This thesis reports on the work carried out with a quantum gas microscope of ultracold fermionic Li-6, where Fermi-Hubbard systems are prepared and imaged with single site spin and density resolution. The main results of the thesis explore the microscopic dynamics underlying one-dimensional materials, where individual constituents such as the electron with charge e and spin-1/2 are not relevant to the description of the system anymore and are instead replaced by spin and charge excitations that can propagate independent of one another - a phenomenon called spin-charge separation. In our quantum simulator, we use analogous one-dimensional Fermi-Hubbard chains of Li-6, to perform time- and space-resolved microscopy of the spin and charge excitations following a local quench. By extracting their strikingly different velocities and showing an absence of binding between the excitations, we demonstrate spin-charge separation. Our microscopic technique also allows us to quantitatively extract the excess spin carried by the spin excitiation, connecting our results to the phenomenon of fractionalization. In another set of experiments, Fermi-Hubbard chains are probed at equilibrium and incommensurate spin correlations arising in the presence of both density doping and spin polarization are observed. The wavevector of these incommensurate correlations are found to have a linear dependence on doping and polarization. Finally, the effect of the spin-charge interplay is probed in the crossover from one to two dimensions. The spin correlations across dopants are seen to be dramatically different in two dimensions, and the strong antiferromagnetic correlations across dopants present in one dimension disappear. For a single dopant in a fully two dimensional system, the spin-charge interplay manifests as a distorted spin cloud surrounding the dopant, indicating the formation of a magnetic polaron. The experiments reported here demonstrate the power of a quantum simulator; by probing the physics of strongly correlated systems in real space with unprecedented resolution, we can zoom into emergent phenomena, validate theories and access regimes that are not possible in other experimental settings.