Dynamical mean-field theory studies of superfluidity and topological phases in lattice models

Tuomas Vanhala

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Quantum mechanical lattice models, such as the famous Hubbard model, were originally intended as simplified descriptions of the behavior of electrons in real solids. Today it is clear that even such simple models can present remarkably rich physics. At the same time, obtaining reliable solutions for correlated quantum systems is difficult and requires the development of both computing resources and new algorithms and approximations. Parallel with the theoretical developments, applications of lattice models have also expanded to the study of ultracold atoms in optical lattices. The hallmark of these experiments is the possibility to design different kinds of lattices and to tune the interactions between the atoms, making it possible to do real experiments on theoretical "toy models". In this thesis we have used dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT) and its cluster extensions to study superfluidity and topological phenomena in lattice models. The DMFT combines the exact solution of a small reference system with a self-consistent mean-field treatment of the rest of the lattice. After a short introduction to the physical background of the lattice models, we review the formal definition and practical aspects of the DMFT method. We discuss the Baym-Kadanoff-Luttinger-Ward functional formalism that can be used to derive the DMFT equations, and review the numerical exact diagonalization and continuous-time quantum Monte-Carlo algorithms that were used in the implementation of the method. Publications I and VI discuss superfluid states induced by correlation effects that cannot easily be treated within a static mean-field theory. In Publication I we study a bilayer system where two different types of superfluids can be found depending on the densities of particles in the layers. Publication VI has a focus in the d-wave superconductivity and non-uniform, striped magnetism of the two-dimensional Hubbard model, which are thought to be connected with the high-Tc superconductivity in cuprate materials. The stripe state along with non-Fermi-liquid properties visible only in a beyond-mean-field treatment were observed also in the study of the Hubbard model on the Lieb lattice in Publication V. Topological and geometric properties of lattice systems, such as the Berry curvature and Chern numbers, play a central role in Publications II, III and IV. In Publication II we used exact diagonalization, DMFT and mean-field theory to study the topological phase diagram of an interacting Haldane model. The methods consistently predict a phase diagram with an interme-diate topological phase not found in the well-known non-interacting case. In Publications III and IV mean-field theory is used to study the connection between Berry curvature and the superfluid weight in lattice models, and DMFT calculations were used to support the mean-field results. Topological lattice systems have recently been realized in ultracold gas experiments and it is hoped that the calculations presented here inspire this line of research.
Translated title of the contributionDynaamisen keskeiskenttäteorian sovelluksia supranesteiden ja topologisten hilamallien tutkimukseen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Törmä, Päivi, Supervising Professor
  • Harju, Ari, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8002-4
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8003-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • DMFT
  • Hubbard model
  • superfluidity
  • stripe phase
  • Chern number
  • lattice


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