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Perfect diode in quantum spin chains

V. Balachandran, G. Benenti, E. Pereira. G. Casati, D. Poletti

We study the rectification of the spin current in XXZ chains segmented in two parts, each with a different anisotropy parameter. Using exact diagonalization and a matrix product state algorithm, we find that a large rectification (of the order of 10^4) is attainable even using a short chain of N=8 spins, when one-half of the chain is gapless while the other has a large enough anisotropy. We present evidence of diffusive transport when the current is driven in one direction and of a transition to an insulating behavior of the system when driven in the opposite direction, leading to a perfect diode in the thermodynamic limit. The above results are explained in terms of matching of the spectrum of magnon excitations between the two halves of the chain.

Full text DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.200603