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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)