Letter | Published:

Heavy d-electron quasiparticle interference and real-space electronic structure of Sr3Ru2O7

Nature Physics volume 5, pages 800804 (2009) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The intriguing idea that strongly interacting electrons can generate spatially inhomogeneous electronic liquid-crystalline phases is over a decade old1,2,3,4,5, but these systems still represent an unexplored frontier of condensed-matter physics. One reason is that visualization of the many-body quantum states generated by the strong interactions, and of the resulting electronic phases, has not been achieved. Soft condensed-matter physics was transformed by microscopies that enabled imaging of real-space structures and patterns. A candidate technique for obtaining equivalent data in the purely electronic systems is spectroscopic imaging scanning tunnelling microscopy (SI-STM). The core challenge is to detect the tenuous but ‘heavy’ momentum (k)-space components of the many-body electronic state simultaneously with its real-space constituents. Sr3Ru2O7 provides a particularly exciting opportunity to address these issues. It possesses a very strongly renormalized ‘heavy’ d-electron Fermi liquid6,7 and exhibits a field-induced transition to an electronic liquid-crystalline phase8,9. Finally, as a layered compound, it can be cleaved to present an excellent surface for SI-STM.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge and thank E. Fradkin, T. Hanaguri, C. A. Hooley, E.-A. Kim, S. A. Kivelson, Y. Kohsaka, M. J. Lawler, A. J. Millis, S. Raghu, T. M. Rice, S. Sachdev, K. M. Shen, H. Takagi, A. Tamai and F.-C. Zhang for helpful discussions and communications. These studies are carried out with support from NSF DMR-0520404 to the Cornell Center for Materials Research, from Brookhaven National Laboratory and from the UK EPSRC, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust.

Author information

Author notes

    • Jinho Lee
    •  & M. P. Allan

    These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland

    • Jinho Lee
    • , M. P. Allan
    • , J. Farrell
    • , S. A. Grigera
    • , F. Baumberger
    • , J. C. Davis
    •  & A. P. Mackenzie
  2. LASSP, Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

    • Jinho Lee
    • , M. P. Allan
    • , M. A. Wang
    •  & J. C. Davis
  3. CMP&MS Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA

    • Jinho Lee
    •  & J. C. Davis
  4. Instituto de Fisica de Liquidos y Sistemas Biologicos, UNLP, La Plata 1900, Argentina

    • S. A. Grigera

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Contributions

The crystals were grown by J.F., SI-STM experiments were carried out by J.L., M.P.A. and M.A.W. and project planning, data analysis and paper-writing were done by J.L., M.P.A., S.A.G., F.B., J.C.D. and A.P.M.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. P. Mackenzie.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys1397

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