Compass-like manipulation of electronic nematicity in Sr3Ru2O7

Masahiro Naritsuka, Izidor Benedičič, Luke C. Rhodes, Carolina A. Marques, Christopher Trainer, Zhiwei Li, Alexander C. Komarek, Peter Wahl*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Electronic nematicity has been found in a wide range of strongly correlated electron materials, resulting in the electronic states having a symmetry that is lower than that of the crystal that hosts them. One of the most astonishing examples is Sr3Ru2O7, in which a small in-plane component of a magnetic field induces significant resistivity anisotropy. The direction of this anisotropy follows the direction of the in-plane field. The microscopic origin of this field-induced nematicity has been a long-standing puzzle, with recent experiments suggesting a field-induced spin density wave driving the anisotropy. Here, we report spectroscopic imaging of a field-controlled anisotropy of the electronic structure at the surface of Sr3Ru2O7. We track the electronic structure as a function of the direction of the field, revealing a continuous change with field angle. This continuous evolution suggests a mechanism based on spin-orbit coupling resulting in compass-like control of the electronic bands. The anisotropy of the electronic structure persists to temperatures about an order of magnitude higher compared to the bulk, demonstrating novel routes to stabilize such phases over a wider temperature range.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2308972120
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume120
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Nematicity
  • Strongly correlated electron materials
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Magnetism
  • Spin-orbit coupling

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