Mott-Anderson metal-insulator transitions from entanglement
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A metal can be driven to an insulating phase through distinct mechanisms. A possible way is via the Coulomb interaction, which then defines the Mott metal-insulator transition (MIT). Another possibility is the MIT driven by disorder, the so-called Anderson MIT. Here we analyze interacting particles in disordered Hubbard chains—thus comprising the Mott-Anderson physics—by investigating the ground-state entanglement with density functional theory. The localization signature on entanglement is found to be a decreasing on the entanglement degree in comparison to the clean (without interaction and disorder) case, with local minima at certain critical densities. Individually, the Mott (Anderson) MIT has a single critical density whose minimum entanglement decreases as the interaction (disorder) enhances. While in the Mott MIT entanglement saturates at finite values, characterizing partial localization, in the Anderson MIT the system reaches full localization, with zero entanglement, for sufficiently strong disorder. In the combined Mott-Anderson MIT, we find three critical densities referring to local minima on entanglement. One of them is the same as for the Anderson MIT, but now the presence of interaction requires a stronger disorder potential to induce full localization. A second critical density is related to the Mott MIT, but due to disorder it is displaced by a factor proportional to the concentration of impurities. The third local minimum on entanglement is unique to the concomitant presence of disorder and interaction, found to be related to an effective density phenomenon, thus referred to as a Mott-like MIT. Since entanglement has been intrinsically connected to the magnetic susceptibility—a quantity promptly available in cold-atom experiments—our detailed numerical description might be useful for the experimental investigation of the Mott-Anderson MIT.