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Spin dynamics of the generalized quantum spin compass chain...

by Pontus Bengt Johan Laurell, Gonzalo Alvarez, Elbio R Dagotto
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Physical Review B
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We calculate the dynamical spin structure factor of the generalized spin-1/2 compass spin chain using the density matrix renormalization group. The model, also known as the twisted Kitaev spin chain, was recently proposed to be relevant for the description of the spin chain compound CoNb2O6. It features bond-dependent interactions and interpolates between an Ising chain and a one-dimensional variant of Kitaev's honeycomb spin model. The structure factor, in turn, is found to interpolate from gapped and nondispersive in the Ising limit to gapless with nontrivial continua in the Kitaev limit. In particular, the component of the structure factor perpendicular to the Ising directions changes abruptly at the Kitaev point into a dispersionless continuum due to the emergence of an extensive ground-state degeneracy. We show this continuum is consistent with analytical Jordan-Wigner results. We also discuss implications for future inelastic scattering experiments and applications to materials, particularly CoNb2O6.