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Nagaoka Ferromagnetism in 3 × 3 Arrays and Beyond



Yan Li, Keyi Liu, Garnett W. Bryant


Nagaoka ferromagnetism (NF) is a long-predicted example of itinerant ferromagnetism (IF) in the Hubbard model that has been studied theoretically for many years. The condition for NF, an infinite onsite Coulomb repulsion and a single hole in a half-filled band, does not arise naturally in materials, and was only realized recently for the first time in experiments on a 2 × 2 array of gated quantum dots. Atomically precise fabrication of dopant arrays in Si allows for engineering highly controllable systems with complex geometries. This makes dopant arrays a good candidate to study NF in different array geometries through analog quantum simulation. Here we present theoretical simulations done for 3 × 3 arrays and larger N × N arrays of quantum dots, and predict the emergence of different forms of ferromagnetism in different geometries. We find NF in perfect 3 × 3 arrays, as well as in N × N arrays for one hole less than half-filling. The ratio of the Hubbard on-site repulsion U to hopping t that defines the onset of NF increases as N increases, approaching the bulk limit of infinite U for large N. Additional simulations are done for geometries made by removing sites from N × N arrays. Different forms of ferromagnetism are found for different geometries. Loops show ferromagnetism, but only for three electrons. For loops, the critical U/t for the onset of ferromagnetism decreases as the loop length increases. We show that this different dependence on size for loops and N ×N arrays can be understood by a scaling argument. Our results show how analog quantum simulation with small arrays can elucidate the role of effects including wavefunction connectivity; system geometry, size and symmetry; bulk and edge sites; and kinetic energy in determining the quantum magnetism of small systems.
PRX Quantum


Ferromagnetism, Electron Electron Interaction, Dopant Array


Li, Y. , Liu, K. and Bryant, G. (2024), Nagaoka Ferromagnetism in 3 × 3 Arrays and Beyond, PRX Quantum (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created April 5, 2024, Updated May 13, 2024