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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Aug 5;107(6):067202. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Entanglement entropy of critical spin liquids.

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Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 94720, USA.


Quantum spin liquids are phases of matter whose internal structure is not captured by a local order parameter. Particularly intriguing are critical spin liquids, where strongly interacting excitations control low energy properties. Here we calculate their bipartite entanglement entropy that characterizes their quantum structure. In particular we calculate the Renyi entropy S(2) on model wave functions obtained by Gutzwiller projection of a Fermi sea. Although the wave functions are not sign positive, S(2) can be calculated on relatively large systems (>324 spins) using the variational Monte Carlo technique. On the triangular lattice we find that entanglement entropy of the projected Fermi sea state violates the boundary law, with S(2) enhanced by a logarithmic factor. This is an unusual result for a bosonic wave function reflecting the presence of emergent fermions. These techniques can be extended to study a wide class of other phases.

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