Valence Bond Solid Phases in a Cubic Antiferromagnet
Abstract: We report on a valence bond projector Monte Carlo simulation of the cubic lattice quantum Heisenberg model with additional higher-order exchange interactions in each unit cell. The model supports two different valence bond solid (VBS) ground states. In one of these states, the dimer pattern is a three-dimensional analogue of the columnar pattern familiar from two dimensions. In the other, the dimers are regularly arranged along the four main diagonals in 1/8 of the unit cells. The phases are separated from one another and from a Néel phase by strongly first-order boundaries. Our results strengthen the case for exotic transitions in two dimensions, where no discontinuities have been detected at the Heisenberg Néel–VBS transition driven by four-spin plaquette interactions.