Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interaction and Spiral Order in Spin-Orbit Coupled Optical Lattices
Scarola, V. W.
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We show that the recent experimental realization of spin-orbit coupling in ultracold atomic gases can be used to study different types of spin spiral order and resulting multiferroic effects. Spin-orbit coupling in optical lattices can give rise to the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) spin interaction which is essential for spin spiral order. By taking into account spin-orbit coupling and an external Zeeman field, we derive an effective spin model in the Mott insulator regime at half filling and demonstrate that the DM interaction in optical lattices can be made extremely strong with realistic experimental parameters. The rich finite temperature phase diagrams of the effective spin models for fermions and bosons are obtained via classical Monte Carlo simulations.