Finite-temperature dynamics and thermal intraband magnon scattering in Haldane spin-one chains
Physical Review B, 96 (6), 060403, (2017)
The antiferromagnetic spin-one chain is considerably one of the most fundamental quantum many-body systems, with symmetry-protected topological order in the ground state. Here, we present results for its dynamical spin structure factor at finite temperatures, based on a combination of exact numerical diagonalization, matrix-product-state calculations, and quantum Monte Carlo simulations. Open finite chains exhibit a subgap band in the thermal spectral functions, indicative of localized edge states. Moreover, we observe the thermal activation of a distinct low-energy continuum contribution to the spin spectral function with an enhanced spectral weight at low momenta and its upper threshold. This emerging thermal spectral feature of the Haldane spin-one chain is shown to result from intraband magnon scattering due to the thermal population of the single-magnon branch, which features a large bandwidth-to-gap ratio. These findings are discussed with respect to possible future studies on spin-one chain compounds based on inelastic neutron scattering.