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Topological Doping of Correlated Insulators

By S. A. Kivelson and V. J. Emery


A material which is an insulator entirely because of interaction effects is called a correlated insulator. Examples are trans-polyacetylene and the cuprate high temperature superconductors. Whereas doping of a band insulator results in a shift of the chemical potential into the conduction or valence band, doping of a correlated insulator produces fundamental changes in the electronic density of states itself. We have found that a general feature of doping a correlated insulator is the generation of topological defects; solitons in one-dimension and anti-phase domain walls in higher dimensions. We review the well known features of this process in polyacetylene, and describe the experimental evidence that the analogous features are seen in the cuprate superconductors. We also distinguish the case in which the doping-induced features can be viewed as a Fermi surface instability, as in polyacetylene, and the more usual case in which they are a consequence of a Coulomb frustrated electronic tendency to phase separation

Year: 1996
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