In this thesis we consider a variational wave function approach as a possible route to describe the competition between disorder and strong electronelectron interaction in two dimensions. In particular we aim to obtain a transparent and physically intuitive understanding of the competition between these two localizing forces within the simplest model where they both are active, namely the disordered Hubbard model at half filling and in a square lattice. Our approach is based on an approximate form of the groundstate wave function, which we believe contains the physically relevant ingredients for a correct description of both the Mott and the Anderson insulators, where electrons are localized by the Coulomb repulsion and by disorder, respectively. For strongly interacting fermionic systems, a standard variational wave function is constructed by a correlation term acting on a Slater determinant, the latter being an uncorrelated metallic state. Previous variational calculations showed that a longrange densitydensity correlation factor, so called Jastrow factor, is needed to correctly describe the Mott insulator [9]. This term, which is collective by definition, correlates spatially charge uctuations, thus preventing their free motion that would otherwise imply metallic conductance. For this reason, our variational wave function does include such a term. Anderson localization is instead mostly a matter of singleparticle wave functions, hence it pertains to the uncorrelated Slater determinant which the Jastrow factor acts onto. We consider both the case in which we enforce paramagnetism in the wave function and the case in which we allow for magnetic ordering. Summarizing briefly our results, we find that, when the variational wave function is forced to be paramagnetic, the Anderson insulator to Mott insulator transition is continuous. This transition can be captured by studying several quantities. In particular, a novel one that we have identified and that is easily accessible variationally is the disconnected densitydensity fluctuation at long wavelength, defined by lim where ^nq is the Fourier transform of the charge density at momentum q, (...) denotes quantum average at fixed disorder and the overbar represents the average over disorder configurations. We find that Ndisc q!0 is everywhere finite in the Anderson insulator and vanishes critically at the Mott transition, staying zero in the Mott insulator. When magnetism is allowed and the hopping only connects nearest neighbor sites, upon increasing interaction the paramagnetic Anderson insulator first turns antiferromagnetic and finally the magnetic and compressible Anderson insulator gives way to an incompressible antiferromagnetic Mott insulator. The optimized uncorrelated Slater determinant is always found to be the eigenstate of a disordered noninteracting effective Hamiltonian, which suggests that the model is never metallic. Finally, when magnetism is frustrated by a next to nearest neighbor hopping, the overall sequence of phases does not change. However, the paramagnetic to magnetic transition within the Anderson insulator basin of stability turns first order. Indeed, within the magnetically ordered phase, we find many almost degenerate paramagnetic states with well defined local moments. This is suggestive of an emerging glassy behavior when the competition between disorder and strong correlation is maximum.
Disorder and Interaction: ground state properties of the disordered Hubbard model / Pezzoli, Maria Elisabetta.  (2008 Oct 24).
Disorder and Interaction: ground state properties of the disordered Hubbard model
Pezzoli, Maria Elisabetta
20081024
Abstract
In this thesis we consider a variational wave function approach as a possible route to describe the competition between disorder and strong electronelectron interaction in two dimensions. In particular we aim to obtain a transparent and physically intuitive understanding of the competition between these two localizing forces within the simplest model where they both are active, namely the disordered Hubbard model at half filling and in a square lattice. Our approach is based on an approximate form of the groundstate wave function, which we believe contains the physically relevant ingredients for a correct description of both the Mott and the Anderson insulators, where electrons are localized by the Coulomb repulsion and by disorder, respectively. For strongly interacting fermionic systems, a standard variational wave function is constructed by a correlation term acting on a Slater determinant, the latter being an uncorrelated metallic state. Previous variational calculations showed that a longrange densitydensity correlation factor, so called Jastrow factor, is needed to correctly describe the Mott insulator [9]. This term, which is collective by definition, correlates spatially charge uctuations, thus preventing their free motion that would otherwise imply metallic conductance. For this reason, our variational wave function does include such a term. Anderson localization is instead mostly a matter of singleparticle wave functions, hence it pertains to the uncorrelated Slater determinant which the Jastrow factor acts onto. We consider both the case in which we enforce paramagnetism in the wave function and the case in which we allow for magnetic ordering. Summarizing briefly our results, we find that, when the variational wave function is forced to be paramagnetic, the Anderson insulator to Mott insulator transition is continuous. This transition can be captured by studying several quantities. In particular, a novel one that we have identified and that is easily accessible variationally is the disconnected densitydensity fluctuation at long wavelength, defined by lim where ^nq is the Fourier transform of the charge density at momentum q, (...) denotes quantum average at fixed disorder and the overbar represents the average over disorder configurations. We find that Ndisc q!0 is everywhere finite in the Anderson insulator and vanishes critically at the Mott transition, staying zero in the Mott insulator. When magnetism is allowed and the hopping only connects nearest neighbor sites, upon increasing interaction the paramagnetic Anderson insulator first turns antiferromagnetic and finally the magnetic and compressible Anderson insulator gives way to an incompressible antiferromagnetic Mott insulator. The optimized uncorrelated Slater determinant is always found to be the eigenstate of a disordered noninteracting effective Hamiltonian, which suggests that the model is never metallic. Finally, when magnetism is frustrated by a next to nearest neighbor hopping, the overall sequence of phases does not change. However, the paramagnetic to magnetic transition within the Anderson insulator basin of stability turns first order. Indeed, within the magnetically ordered phase, we find many almost degenerate paramagnetic states with well defined local moments. This is suggestive of an emerging glassy behavior when the competition between disorder and strong correlation is maximum.File  Dimensione  Formato  

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