Article abstract

Nature Physics 6, 44 - 49 (2010)
Published online: 1 November 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphys1431

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Quantum physics

Quantum oscillations from Fermi arcs

T. Pereg-Barnea1,4, H. Weber2,3,4, G. Refael1 & M. Franz2

When a metal is subjected to a strong magnetic field B, nearly all measurable quantities show oscillations periodic in 1/B. Such quantum oscillations represent a canonical probe of the defining aspect of a metal, its Fermi surface. Recent breakthrough experiments demonstrating the existence of unambiguous quantum oscillations in a cuprate superconductor, YBa2Cu3O6.51, contradict the well-established result of many angle resolved photoemission studies, which consistently indicate ‘Fermi arcs’—truncated segments of a Fermi surface—in the normal state of the cuprates. In this study, with the goal of reconciling the above disagreement, we introduce a mechanism for quantum oscillations that requires only finite segments of a Fermi surface. We show that oscillations periodic in 1/B can occur if the Fermi surface segments are terminated by a pairing gap and present arguments that these oscillations are in fact occurring in the cuprates.

  1. Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd, MC114-36, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
  3. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
  4. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: T. Pereg-Barnea1,4 e-mail:


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