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Anomalous enhancement of the Nernst effect at the crossover between a Fermi liquid and a strange metal


A strange-metal state appears in many strongly correlated materials, so understanding its nature is a crucial problem in condensed matter physics. This knowledge could provide important insight into high-temperature superconductivity and quantum criticality, but standard Fermi-liquid theory fails in strange metals. Establishing an alternative theory has been a long-standing challenge and fundamental aspects of strange metals—including the nature of their charge carriers—remain elusive. Here we report the observation of a large Nernst response in the strange-metal state in a two-dimensional superconductor 2M-WS2. Specifically, when the system enters the strange-metal state from the Fermi-liquid state, the Nernst coefficient increases to be comparable to the vortex Nernst signal in superconducting cuprates, and it is highly sensitive to carrier mobility. The temperature and magnetic field dependence of the Nernst peak rule out the relevance of both Landau quasiparticles and superconductivity. Instead, the Nernst peak at the crossover indicates a change in carrier entropy when entering the strange-metal state. The presence of such an anomalous Nernst response is further confirmed in other iconic strange metals, suggesting its universality and places experimental constraints on the mechanism of strange metals.

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Fig. 1: The Fermi-liquid, strange-metal and bad-metal regimes in 2M-WS2.
Fig. 2: The thermoelectric responses in 2M-WS2.
Fig. 3: The Nernst coefficient in 2M-WS2 shows an anomalous enhancement compared with that expected in a Fermi liquid.
Fig. 4: The presence of an anomalous Nernst response is confirmed in other strange metals, suggesting its universality.

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Source data are provided with this paper. Other data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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We acknowledge useful discussions with T. Leggett, B. S. Shastry, X. Lin, Y. Liu, H. Zhang and H. Zeng. This work was supported by the National Key Projects for Research & Development of China (grant no. 2019YFA0308602 to H.X. and Z.-A.X.), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 11804220 to H.X., 12174334 to Z.-A.X. and 52103353 to Y.F.), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (grant no. 20ZR1428900 to H.X.) and the Key Research & Development Program of Zhejiang Province, China (grant no. 2021C01002 to Z.-A.X.).

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Authors and Affiliations



H.X. conceived the project. H.X. and Z.-A.X. supervised the experiments. Y.Y. and H.X. performed the electron transport and thermoelectric transport measurements with assistance from G.T., C.Y., X.Y., Q.T., C.J., X.X. and Z.-A.X. Y.F. and F.H. grew and characterized the 2M-WS2 single crystals. Y.W. and Z.M. grew and characterized the Sr2RuO4 single crystals. W.D. provided theoretical support. H.X. wrote the manuscript with input from all of the coauthors.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Fuqiang Huang, Hui Xing or Zhu-An Xu.

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Nature Physics thanks Peizhi Mai, Kamran Behnia and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–16 and Discussion.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 1

Electron transport measurement source data for Fig. 1.

Source Data Fig. 2

Thermoelectric transport measurement source data for Fig. 2.

Source Data Fig. 3

Thermoelectric transport measurement source data for Fig. 3.

Source Data Fig. 4

Electron transport and thermoelectric transport measurement source data for Fig. 4.

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Yang, Y., Tao, Q., Fang, Y. et al. Anomalous enhancement of the Nernst effect at the crossover between a Fermi liquid and a strange metal. Nat. Phys. 19, 379–385 (2023).

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