Identifying Symmetry-Protected Topological Order by Entanglement Entropy


According to the classification using projective representations of the SO(3) group, there exist two topologically distinct gapped phases in spin-1 chains. The symmetry-protected topological (SPT) phase possesses half-integer projective representations of the SO(3) group, while the trivial phase possesses integer linear representations. In the present work, we implement non-Abelian symmetries in the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) method, allowing us to keep track of (and also control) the virtual bond representations and to readily distinguish the SPT phase from the trivial one by evaluating the multiplet entanglement spectrum. In particular, using the entropies SI (SH) of integer (half-integer) representations, we can define an entanglement gap G=SI-SH, which equals 1 in the SPT phase, and -1 in the trivial phase. As an application of our proposal, we study the spin-1 models on various one-dimensional (1D) and quasi-1D lattices, including the bilinear-biquadratic model on a single chain, and the Heisenberg model on a two-leg ladder and a three-leg tube. Among others, we confirm the existence of a SPT phase in the spin-1 tube model and reveal that the phase transition between the SPT and the trivial phase is a continuous one. The transition point is found to be critical, with conformal central charge c=3 determined by fits to the block entanglement entropy.

Phys. Rev. B