Magnetic end states in a strongly interacting one-dimensional topological Kondo insulator

Alejandro M Lobos, Ariel O Dobry, Victor Galitskiy

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Topological Kondo insulators are strongly correlated materials where itinerant electrons hybridize with localized spins, giving rise to a topologically nontrivial band structure. Here, we use nonperturbative bosonization and renormalization-group techniques to study theoretically a one-dimensional topological Kondo insulator, described as a Kondo-Heisenberg model, where the Heisenberg spin-1/2 chain is coupled to a Hubbard chain through a Kondo exchange interaction in the p-wave channel (i.e., a strongly correlated version of the prototypical Tamm-Schockley model).We derive and solve renormalization-group equations at two-loop order in the Kondo parameter, and find that, at half filling, the charge degrees of freedom in the Hubbard chain acquire a Mott gap, even in the case of a noninteracting conduction band (Hubbard parameter U = 0). Furthermore, at low enough temperatures, the system maps onto a spin-1/2 ladder with local ferromagnetic interactions along the rungs, effectively locking the spin degrees of freedom into a spin-1 chain with frozen charge degrees of freedom. This structure behaves as a spin-1 Haldane chain, a prototypical interacting topological spin model, and features two magnetic spin-1/2 end states for chains with open boundary conditions. Our analysis allows us to derive an insightful connection between topological Kondo insulators in one spatial dimension and thewell-known physics of the Haldane chain, showing that the ground state of the former is qualitatively different from the predictions of the naive mean-field theory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number021017
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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