Symmetry-allowed phase transitions realized by the two-dimensional fully frustrated XY class

Minnhagen, Petter
Kim, Beom Jun
Bernhardsson, Sebastian
Cristofano, Gerardo
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A 2D Fully Frustrated XY(FFXY) class of models is shown to contain a new groundstate in addition to the checkerboard groundstates of the standard 2D FFXY model. The spin configuration of this additional groundstate is obtained. Associated with this groundstate there are additional phase transitions. An order parameter accounting for these new transitions is proposed. The transitions associated with the new order parameter are suggested to be similar to a 2D liquid-gas transition which implies Z_2-Ising like transitions. This suggests that the class of 2D FFXY models belongs within a U(1) x Z_2 x Z_2-designation of possible transitions, which implies that there are seven different possible single and combined transitions. MC-simulations for the generalized fully frustrated XY (GFFXY) model on a square lattice are used to investigate which of these possibilities can be realized in practice: five of the seven are encountered. Four critical points are deduced from the MC-simulations, three consistent with central charge c=3/2 and one with c=1. The implications for the standard 2D FFXY-model are discussed in particular with respect to the long standing controversy concerning the characteristics of its phase transitions.
Comment: 8 pages, 8 figures
Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics