Quantum spin liquid with emergent chiral order in the triangular-lattice Hubbard model


The interplay between spin frustration and charge fluctuation gives rise to an exotic quantum state in the intermediate-interaction regime of the half-filled triangular-lattice Hubbard model, while the nature of the state is under debate. Using the density matrix renormalization group with SU(2)spin ⊗ U(1)charge symmetries implemented, we study the triangular-lattice Hubbard model defined on the long cylinder geometry up to circumference W = 6. A gapped quantum spin liquid, with on-site interaction 9 < U/t < 10.75, is identified between the metallic and the antiferromagnetic Mott insulating phases. In particular, we find that this spin liquid develops a robust long-range spin scalar-chiral correlation as the system length L increases, which unambiguously unveils the spontaneous time-reversal symmetry breaking. In addition, the degeneracy of the entanglement spectrum supports symmetry fractionalization and spinon edge modes in the obtained ground state. The possible origin of chiral order in this intermediate spin liquid and its relation to the rotonlike excitations have also been discussed.

Phys. Rev. B