Cumulative geometric frustration and superextensive energy scaling in a nonlinear classical XY-spin model

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Abstract

Geometric frustration results from a discrepancy between the locally favored arrangement of the constituents of a system and the geometry of the embedding space. Geometric frustration can be either noncumulative, which implies an extensive energy growth, or cumulative, which implies superextensive energy scaling and highly cooperative ground-state configurations which may depend on the dimensions of the system. Cumulative geometric frustration was identified in a variety of continuous systems including liquid crystals, filament bundles, and molecular crystals. However, a spin-lattice model which clearly demonstrates cumulative geometric frustration was lacking. In this paper we describe a nonlinear variation of the XY-spin model on a triangular lattice that displays cumulative geometric frustration. The model is studied numerically and analyzed in three distinct parameter regimes, which are associated with different energy minimizing configurations. We show that, despite the difference in the ground-state structure in the different regimes, in all cases the superextensive power-law growth of the frustration energy for small domains grows with the same universal exponent that is predicted from the structure of the underlying compatibility condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024703
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

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