Andreev-Lifshitz supersolid revisited for a few electrons on a square lattice. I
CEA/DSM, Service de Physique de l'État Condensé,
Centre d'Études de Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 14 February 2003
In 1969, Andreev and Lifshitz have conjectured the existence of a supersolid phase taking place at zero temperature between the quantum liquid and the solid. In this and a succeeding paper, we re-visit this issue for a few polarized electrons (spinless fermions) interacting via a U/r Coulomb repulsion on a two dimensional square lattice with periodic boundary conditions and nearest neighbor hopping t. This paper is restricted to the magic number of particles N=4 for which a square Wigner molecule is formed when U increases and to the size L=6 suitable for exact numerical diagonalizations. When the Coulomb energy to kinetic energy ratio reaches a value , there is a level crossing between ground states of different momenta. Above , the mesoscopic crystallization proceeds through an intermediate regime () where unpaired fermions with a reduced Fermi energy co-exist with a strongly paired, nearly solid assembly. We suggest that this is the mesoscopic trace of the supersolid proposed by Andreev and Lifshitz. When a random substrate is included, the level crossing at is avoided and gives rise to a lower threshold where two usual approximations break down: the Wigner surmise for the distribution of the first energy excitation and the Hartree-Fock approximation for the ground state.
PACS: 71.10.-w – Theories and models of many-electron systems / 73.21.La – Quantum dots / 73.20.Qt – Electron solids
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2003