Emergence of a spin microemulsion in spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates

Kavli Affiliate: Leon Balents

| First 5 Authors: Ethan C. McGarrigle, Kris T. Delaney, Leon Balents, Glenn H. Fredrickson,

| Summary:

We report the first numerical prediction of a "spin microemulsion" — a phase
with undulating spin domains resembling classical bicontinuous
oil-water-surfactant emulsions — in two-dimensional systems of spinor
Bose-Einstein condensates with isotropic Rashba spin-orbit coupling. Using
field-theoretic numerical simulations, we investigated the melting of a
low-temperature stripe phase with supersolid character and find that the
stripes lose their superfluidity at elevated temperature and undergo a
Kosterlitz–Thouless-like transition into a spin microemulsion. Momentum
distribution calculations highlight a thermally broadened occupation of the
Rashba circle of low-energy states with macroscopic and isotropic occupation
around the ring. We provide a finite-temperature phase diagram that positions
the emulsion as an intermediate, structured isotropic phase with residual
quantum character before transitioning at higher temperature into a
structureless normal fluid.

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