We study the phenomenon of chiral symmetry breaking in QED and QCD in 2+1 dimensions with Nf flavors. We attack the problem from two perspectives.
On one side, we study (perturbatively at large Nf) the scaling dimension of operators that at a certain Nf* seem to cross marginality. When this happens, two real fixed points merge into a pair of complex conformal field theories. On the other side, we use recently proposed bosonization dualities.
The merging pattern suggested at large Nf (which implies symmetry breaking in fermionic gauge theories but is symmetry preserving in bosonic models) is consistent with the dualities valid at small Nf, giving support to the proposed scenarios.