Rise and fall of hidden string order of lattice bosons

Erez Berg, Emanuele G. Dalla Torre, Thierry Giamarchi, Ehud Altman

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178 Scopus citations


We investigate the ground-state properties of a newly discovered phase of one-dimensional lattice bosons with extended interactions. The new phase, termed the Haldane insulator in analogy with the gapped phase of spin-1 chains, is characterized by a nonlocal order parameter, which can only be written as an infinite string in terms of the bosonic densities. We show that the string order can nevertheless be probed with physical fields that couple locally, via the effect those fields have on the quantum phase transitions separating the exotic phase from the conventional Mott and density wave phases. Using a field theoretical analysis, we show that a perturbation that breaks lattice inversion symmetry gaps the critical point separating the Mott and Haldane phases and eliminates the sharp distinction between them. This is remarkable given that neither of these phases involves broken inversion symmetry. We also investigate the evolution of the phase diagram with the tunable coupling between parallel chains in an optical lattice setup. We find that interchain tunneling destroys the direct phase transition between the Mott and Haldane insulators by establishing an intermediate superfluid phase. On the other hand, coupling the chains only by weak repulsive interactions does not modify the structure of the phase diagram. The theoretical predictions are confirmed with numerical calculations using the density matrix renormalization group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245119
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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