1932

Abstract

Correlated electron fluids can exhibit a startling array of complex phases, among which one of the more surprising is the electron nematic, a translationally invariant metallic phase with a spontaneously generated spatial anisotropy. Classical nematics generally occur in liquids of rod-like molecules; given that electrons are point like, the initial theoretical motivation for contemplating electron nematics came from thinking of the electron fluid as a quantum melted electron crystal, rather than a strongly interacting descendent of a Fermi gas. Dramatic transport experiments in ultra-clean quantum Hall systems in 1999 and in SrRuO in a strong magnetic field in 2007 established that such phases exist in nature. In this article, we briefly review the theoretical considerations governing nematic order, summarize the quantum Hall and SrRuO experiments that unambiguously establish the existence of this phase, and survey some of the current evidence for such a phase in the cuprate and Fe-based high temperature superconductors.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-070909-103925
2010-08-10
2024-06-20
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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