We develop a microscopic theory of the electronic nematic phase proximate to an isotropic Fermi liquid in both two and three dimensions. Explicit expressions are obtained for the small amplitude collective excitations in the ordered state; remarkably, the nematic Goldstone mode (the director wave) is overdamped except along special directions dictated by symmetry. At the quantum critical point we find a dynamical exponent of z = 3, implying stability of the Gaussian fixed point. The leading perturbative effect of the overdamped Goldstone modes leads to a breakdown of Fermi-liquid theory in the nematic phase and to strongly angle-dependent electronic self energies around the Fermi surface. Other metallic liquid-crystal phases, e.g., a quantum hexatic, behave analogously.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Nov 15 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics