|Absence of Thermalization in Finite Isolated Interacting Floquet Systems
|Year of Publication
|Seetharam, K, Titum, P, Kolodrubetz, M, Refael, G
|Physical Review B
Conventional wisdom suggests that the long time behavior of isolated interacting periodically driven (Floquet) systems is a featureless maximal entropy state characterized by an infinite temperature. Efforts to thwart this uninteresting fixed point include adding sufficient disorder to realize a Floquet many-body localized phase or working in a narrow region of drive frequencies to achieve glassy non-thermal behavior at long time. Here we show that in clean systems the Floquet eigenstates can exhibit non-thermal behavior due to finite system size. We consider a one-dimensional system of spinless fermions with nearest-neighbor interactions where the interaction term is driven. Interestingly, even with no static component of the interaction, the quasienergy spectrum contains gaps and a significant fraction of the Floquet eigenstates, at all quasienergies, have non-thermal average doublon densities. We show that this non-thermal behavior arises due to emergent integrability at large interaction strength and discuss how the integrability breaks down with power-law behavior in system size.