We study the superconductor-insulator transition (SIT) in the ground state of the attractive honeycomb Hubbard model in the presence of a staggered potential (a mass term), using a combination of unbiased computational methods, namely, exact diagonalization and quantum Monte Carlo simulations. We probe the nature of the lowest-energy charge excitations across the SIT and show that they are bosonic, as inferred (and shown in the strongly interacting regime) in a previous study of the same model in the square lattice. Increasing the strength of the staggered potential leads to a crossover in which bosonic low-energy excitations give way to fermionic ones within the insulating phase. We also show that the SIT belongs to the 3d-XY universality class, like in its square lattice counterpart. The robustness of our results in these two lattice geometries supports the expectation that our findings are universal for SITs in clean systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics