The classical theory of solids, based on the quantum mechanics of single electrons moving in periodic potentials, provides an excellent description of substances ranging from semiconducting silicon to superconducting aluminium. Over the last fifteen years, it has become increasingly clear that there are substances for which the conventional approach fails. Among these are certain rare earth compounds1,2 and transition metal oxides3,4, including high-temperature superconductors5,6. A common feature of these materials is complexity, in the sense that they have relatively large unit cells containing heterogeneous mixtures of atoms. Although many explanations have been put forward for their anomalous properties7, it is still possible that the classical theory might suffice. Here we show that a very common chromium alloy has some of the same peculiarities as the more exotic materials, including a quantum critical point8, a strongly temperature-dependent Hall resistance4,5 and evidence for a ‘pseudogap’9. This implies that complexity is not a prerequisite for unconventional behaviour. Moreover, it should simplify the general task of explaining anomalous properties because chromium is a relatively simple system in which to work out in quantitative detail the consequences of the conventional theory of solids.
This is a preview of subscription content
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Löhneysen, H. v. et al. Non-Fermi-liquid behavior in a heavy-fermion alloy at a magnetic instability. Phys. Rev. Lett. 72, 3262–3265 (1994)
Schröder, A. et al. Onset of antiferromagnetism in heavy-fermion metals. Nature 407, 351–355 (2000)
Varma, C. M. et al. Phenomenology of the normal state of Cu-O high temperature superconductors. Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 1996–1999 (1989)
Rosenbaum, T. F., Husmann, A., Carter, S. A. & Honig, J. M. Temperature dependence of the Hall angle in a correlated three-dimensional metal. Phys. Rev. B 57, R13997–R13999 (1998)
Chien, T. R., Brawner, D. A., Wang, Z. Z. & Ong, N. P. Unusual 1/T3 temperature dependence of the Hall conductivity in YBa2Cu3O7-δ . Phys. Rev. B 43, 6242–6245 (1991)
Grigera, S. A. et al. Magnetic field-tuned quantum criticality in the metallic ruthenate Sr3Ru2O7 . Science 294, 329–332 (2001)
Allen, P. B. Superconductivity: Is kinky conventional? Nature 412, 494–495 (2001)
Sachdev, S. Quantum Phase Transitions (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1999)
Timusk, T. & Statt, B. The pseudogap in high-temperature superconductors: an experimental overview. Rep. Prog. Phys. 62, 61–122 (1999)
Aeppli, G., Mason, T. E., Hayden, S. M., Mook, H. A. & Kulda, J. Nearly singular magnetic fluctuations in the normal state of a high-Tc cuprate superconductor. Science 278, 1432–1435 (1997)
Aeppli, G. & Broholm, C. Handbook of the Physics and Chemistry of the Rare Earths Vol. 19 123–175 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1994)
Fawcett, E. Spin-density-wave antiferromagnetism in chromium. Rev. Mod. Phys. 60, 209–283 (1988)
Koehler, W. C., Moon, R. M., Trego, A. I. & Mackintosh, A. R. Antiferromagnetism in Chromium Alloys. I. Neutron Diffraction. Phys. Rev. 151, 405–413 (1966)
Fawcett, E., Alberts, H. V., Galkin, V. Yu., Noakes, D. R. & Yakhmi, J. V. Spin-density wave antiferromagnetism in chromium alloys. Rev. Mod. Phys. 66, 25–127 (1994)
de Vries, G. The transition in chromium and in some alloys of chromium with small amounts of other transition elements. J. Phys. Rad. 20, 438–439 (1959)
Takeuchi, J., Sasakura, H. & Masuda, Y. Spin fluctuations in itinerant electron antiferromagnetic Cr1-xVx system. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 49, 508–513 (1980)
Takagi, H. et al. Systematic evolution of temperature-dependent resistivity in La2-xSrxCuO4 . Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 2975–2978 (1992)
Millis, A. J. Effect of a nonzero temperature on quantum critical points in itinerant fermion systems. Phys. Rev. B 48, 7183–7196 (1993)
Hlubina, R. & Rice, T. M. Resistivity as a function of temperature for models with hot spots on the Fermi surface. Phys. Rev. B 52, 9253–9260 (1995)
Furuya, Y. Temperature and magnetic field dependence of the Hall coefficient on the antiferromagnetic chromium. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 40, 490–497 (1976)
Hirai, K. Electronic structure of sinusoidal spin density wave state in chromium. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 62, 690–703 (1993)
Laurent, D. G., Callaway, J., Fry, J. L. & Brener, N. E. Band structure, Fermi surface, Compton profile, and optical conductivity of paramagnetic chromium. Phys. Rev. B 23, 4977–4987 (1981)
Staunten, J. B., Poulter, K., Ginatempo, B., Bruno, E. & Johnson, D. D. Incommensurate and commensurate antiferromagnetic spin fluctuations in Cr and Cr alloys from ab initio dynamical spin susceptibility calculations. Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3340–3343 (1999)
Hayden, S. M., Doubble, R., Aeppli, G., Perring, T. G. & Fawcett, E. The strongly enhanced magnetic excitations near the quantum critical point of Cr1-xVx and why strong exchange enhancement need not imply heavy fermion behavior. Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 999–1003 (2000)
Basov, D. N., Singley, E. J. & Dordevic, S. V. Sum rules and electrodynamics of high-Tc cuprates in the pseudogap state. Phys. Rev. B 65, 054516 (2002)
Rosch, A. Some remarks on pseudogap behavior of nearly antiferromagnetic metals. Phys. Rev. B 64, 174407 (2001)
Coleman, P., Pepin, C., Si, Q. & Ramazashvili, R. How do Fermi liquids get heavy and die? J. Phys. Cond. Mat. 13, R723–R738 (2001)
Si, Q., Rabello, S., Ingersent, K. & Lleweilun Smith, J. Locally critical quantum phase transitions in strongly correlated metals. Nature 413, 804–808 (2001)
We are grateful to P. Coleman and Q. Si for discussions. The work at the University of Chicago was supported by the National Science Foundation.
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Yeh, A., Soh, YA., Brooke, J. et al. Quantum phase transition in a common metal. Nature 419, 459–462 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01044
Communications Physics (2022)
Communications Physics (2022)
Synthesis and characterization of Fe2O3/Mn2O3/FeMn2O4 nano composite alloy coated glass for photo-catalytic degradation of Reactive Blue 222
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics (2017)
Scientific Reports (2016)
Nature Communications (2014)