Evidence for deconfined quantum criticality in a two-dimensional Heisenberg model with four-spin interactions

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jun 1;98(22):227202. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.227202. Epub 2007 Jun 1.


Using ground-state projector quantum Monte Carlo simulations in the valence-bond basis, it is demonstrated that nonfrustrating four-spin interactions can destroy the Néel order of the two-dimensional S=1/2 Heisenberg antiferromagnet and drive it into a valence-bond solid (VBS) phase. Results for spin and dimer correlations are consistent with a single continuous transition, and all data exhibit finite-size scaling with a single set of exponents, z=1, nu=0.78+/-0.03, and eta=0.26+/-0.03. The unusually large eta and an emergent U(1) symmetry, detected using VBS order parameter histograms, provide strong evidence for a deconfined quantum critical point.