Impact of drive harmonics on the stability of Floquet many-body localization
We investigate how the critical driving amplitude at the Floquet many-body localized (MBL) to ergodic phase transition differs between smooth and nonsmooth drives. To this end, we numerically study a disordered spin-1/2 chain which is periodically driven by a sine or square-wave drive over a wide range of driving frequencies. In both cases the critical driving amplitude increases monotonically with the frequency, and at large frequencies it is identical for the two drives. However, at low and intermediate frequencies the critical amplitude of the square-wave drive depends strongly on the frequency, while that of the sinusoidal drive is almost constant over a wide frequency range. By analyzing the density of drive-induced resonances we conclude that this difference is due to resonances induced by the higher harmonics which are present (absent) in the Fourier spectrum of the square-wave (sine) drive. Furthermore, we suggest a numerically efficient method for estimating the frequency dependence of the critical driving amplitudes for different drives which is based on calculating the density of drive-induced resonances. We conclude that delocalization occurs once the density of drive-induced resonances reaches a critical value determined only by the static system.
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American Physical Society