Defect-induced supersolidity with soft-core bosons

Cinti, F. ; Macri, T. ; Lechner, W. ; Pupillo, G. ; Pohl, T. (2014)

CITATION: Cinti, F., et al. 2014. Defect-induced supersolidity with soft-core bosons. Nature Communications, 5, Article number:3235, doi:10.1038/ncomms4235.


More than 40 years ago, Andreev, Lifshitz and Chester suggested the possible existence of a peculiar solid phase of matter, the microscopic constituents of which can flow superfluidly without resistance due to the formation of zero-point defects in the ground state of self-assembled crystals. Yet, a physical system where this mechanism is unambiguously established remains to be found, both experimentally and theoretically. Here we investigate the zero-temperature phase diagram of two-dimensional bosons with finite-range soft-core interactions. For low particle densities, the system is shown to feature a solid phase in which zero-point vacancies emerge spontaneously and give rise to superfluid flow of particles through the crystal. This provides the first example of defect-induced, continuous-space supersolidity consistent with the Andreev–Lifshitz–Chester scenario.

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