Interaction-Driven Instabilities in the Random-Field XXZ Chain

Jeanne Colbois, Fabien Alet, Nicolas Laflorencie
Condensed Matter, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks (cond-mat.dis-nn), Strongly Correlated Electrons (cond-mat.str-el)
2024-03-14 00:00:00
Despite enormous efforts devoted to the study of the many-body localization (MBL) phenomenon, the nature of the high-energy behavior of the Heisenberg spin chain in a strong random magnetic field is lacking consensus. Here, we take a step back by exploring the weak interaction limit starting from the Anderson localized (AL) insulator. Through shift-invert diagonalization, we find that below a certain disorder threshold $h^*$, weak interactions necessarily lead to ergodic instability, whereas at strong disorder the AL insulator directly turns into MBL. This agrees with a simple interpretation of the avalanche theory for restoration of ergodicity. We further map the phase diagram for the generic XXZ model in the disorder $h$ -- interaction $\Delta$ plane. Taking advantage of the total magnetization conservation, our results unveil the remarkable behavior of the spin-spin correlation functions: in the regime indicated as MBL by standard observables, their exponential decay undergoes a unique inversion of orientation $\xi_z>\xi_x$. We find that the longitudinal length $\xi_z$ is a key quantity for capturing ergodic instabilities, as it increases with system size near the thermal phase, in sharp contrast to its transverse counterpart $\xi_x$.
PDF: Interaction-Driven Instabilities in the Random-Field XXZ Chain.pdf
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