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Isolated flat bands in 2D lattices based on a novel path-exchange symmetry

Jun-Hyung Bae, Tigran Sedrakyan, Saurabh Maiti

SciPost Phys. 15, 139 (2023) · published 5 October 2023


The increased ability to engineer two-dimensional (2D) systems, either using materials, photonic lattices, or cold atoms, has led to the search for 2D structures with interesting properties. One such property is the presence of flat bands. Typically, the presence of these requires long-ranged hoppings, fine-tuning of nearest neighbor hoppings, or breaking time-reversal symmetry by using a staggered flux distribution in the unit cell. We provide a prescription based on carrying out projections from a parent system to generate different flat band systems. We identify the conditions for maintaining the flatness and identify a path-exchange symmetry in such systems that cause the flat band to be degenerate with the other dispersive ones. Breaking this symmetry leads to lifting the degeneracy while still preserving the flatness of the band. This technique does not require changing the topology nor breaking time-reversal symmetry as was suggested earlier in the literature. The prescription also eliminates the need for any fine-tuning. Moreover, it is shown that the subsequent projected systems inherit the precise fine-tuning conditions that were discussed in the literature for similar systems, in order to have and isolate a flat band. As examples, we demonstrate the use of our prescription to arrive at the flat band conditions for popular systems like the Kagomé, the Lieb, and the Dice lattices. Finally, we are also able to show that a flat band exists in a recently proposed chiral spin-liquid state of the Kagomé lattice only if it is associated with a gauge field that produces a flux modulation of the Chern-Simons type.

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