Quantum theory of a nematic Fermi fluid

Vadim Oganesyan, Steven A. Kivelson, Eduardo Fradkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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 languageEnglish (US)
Article number195109
Pages (from-to)1951091-1951096
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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