Exotic phases of correlated electrons in two dimensions
Exotic phases and associated phase transitions in low dimensions have been a fascinating frontier and a driving force in modern condensed matter physics since the 80s. Due to strong correlation effect, they are beyond the description of mean-field theory based on a single-particle picture and Landau's symmetry-breaking theory of phase transitions. These new phases of matter require new physical quantities to characterize them and new languages to describe them. This thesis is devoted to the study on exotic phases of correlated electrons in two spatial dimensions. We present the following efforts in understanding two-dimensional exotic phases: (1) Using Zn vertex algebra, we give a complete classification and characterization of different one-component fractional quantum Hall (FQH) states, including their ground state properties and quasiparticles. (2) In terms of a non-unitary transformation, we obtain the exact form of statistical interactions between composite fermions in the lowest Landau level (LLL) with v=1/(2m), m=1,2... By studying the pairing instability of composite fermions we theoretically explains recently observed FQHE in LLL with v=1/2,1/4. (3) We classify different Z2 spin liquids (SLs) on kagome lattice in Schwinger-fermion representation using projective symmetry group (PSG). We propose one most promising candidate for the numerically discovered SL state in nearest-neighbor Heisenberg model on kagome lattice}. (4) By analyzing different Z2 spin liquids on honeycomb lattice within PSG classification, we find out the nature of the gapped SL phase in honeycomb lattice Hubbard model, labeled sublattice pairing state (SPS) in Schwinger-fermion representation. We also identify the neighboring magnetic phase of SPS as a chiral-antiferromagnetic (CAF) phase and analyze the continuous phase transition between SPS and CAF phase. For the first time we identify a SL called 0-flux state in Schwinger-boson representation with one (SPS) in Schwinger-fermion representation by a duality transformation. (5) We show that when certain non-collinear magnetic order coexists in a singlet nodal superconductor, there will be Majorana bound states in vortex cores/on the edges of the superconductor. This proposal opens a window for discovering Majorana fermions in strongly correlated electrons. (6) Motivated by recent numerical discovery of fractionalized phases in topological flat bands, we construct wavefunctions for spin-polarized fractional Chern insulators (FCI) and time reversal symmetric fractional topological insulators (FTI) by parton approach. We show that lattice symmetries give rise to different FCI/FTI states even with the same filling fraction. For the first time we construct FTI wavefunctions in the absence of spin conservation which preserve all lattice symmetries. The constructed wavefunctions also set up the framework for future variational Monte Carlo simulations.