Disclination classes, fractional excitations, and the melting of quantum liquid crystals

Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Jeffrey C.Y. Teo, Taylor L. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We consider how fractional excitations bound to a dislocation evolve as the dislocation is separated into a pair of disclinations. We show that some dislocation-bound excitations (such as Majorana modes and half-quantum vortices) are possible only if the elementary dislocation consists of two inequivalent disclinations, as is the case for stripes or square lattices but not for triangular lattices. The existence of multiple inequivalent disclination classes governs the two-dimensional melting of quantum liquid crystals (i.e., nematics and hexatics), determining whether superfluidity and orientational order can simultaneously vanish at a continuous transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025304
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 11 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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