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Condens. Matter, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 27 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Chemical bonding is well adapted to discuss electronic instabilities and their impact on local aspects of superconductivity mechanisms: Mulliken electronegativity, Pearson hardness for atomic polarizability, van der Waals forces for charge-induced dipole interactions. Anionic or cationic clusters may undergo a partial disproportionation, an important phenomenon in chemistry; physicists would refer to this as a « negative-U » system. Is this static description also valid at the pico- and femto-second timescales of phonons and electronic dipole oscillations, respectively? The non-crossing rule imposes the mixing of electron states at the Fermi level, from which partial charge disproportionation occurs. Thus, as shown in this work, two approaches from chemistry lead to coupled charge fluctuations in titanate, cuprate, and iron selenide superconducting systems. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Phase Diagram of LaO1−xFxBiSSe: Suppression of the Structural Phase Transition by Partial F Substitutions
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040081 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
Recently, the anomalous two-fold-symmetric in-plane anisotropy of superconducting states has been observed in a layered superconductor system, LaO1−xFxBiSSe (x = 0.1 and 0.5), with a tetragonal (four-fold symmetric) in-plane structure. To understand the origin of the phenomena [...] Read more.
Recently, the anomalous two-fold-symmetric in-plane anisotropy of superconducting states has been observed in a layered superconductor system, LaO1−xFxBiSSe (x = 0.1 and 0.5), with a tetragonal (four-fold symmetric) in-plane structure. To understand the origin of the phenomena observed in LaO1−xFxBiSSe, clarification of the low-temperature structural phase diagram is needed. In this study, we have investigated the low-temperature crystal structure of LaO1−xFxBiSSe (x = 0, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, and 0.5). From synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments, a structural transition from tetragonal to monoclinic was observed for x = 0 and 0.01 at 340 and 240 K, respectively. For x = 0.03, a structural transition and broadening of the diffraction peak were not observed down to 100 K. These facts suggest that the structural transition could be suppressed by 3% F substitution in LaO1−xFxBiSSe. Furthermore, the crystal structure for x = 0.5 at 4 K was examined by low-temperature laboratory X-ray diffraction, which confirmed that the tetragonal structure is maintained at 4 K for x = 0.5. Our structural investigation suggests that the two-fold-symmetric in-plane anisotropy of superconducting states observed in LaO1−xFxBiSSe was not originated from structural symmetry lowering in its average structure. To evaluate the possibility of the local structural modification like nanoscale puddles in the average tetragonal structure, further experiments are desired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Superconductivity)
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Open AccessArticle
Isotope Effect in the Translation-Invariant Bipolaron Theory of High-Temperature Superconductivity
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040080 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 420
Abstract
It is shown that the translation-invariant bipolaron theory of superconductivity can explain the dependence of the isotope coefficient in high-temperature superconductors on the critical temperature of a superconducting transition: in the case of strong electron–phonon interaction, the isotope coefficient is low when doping [...] Read more.
It is shown that the translation-invariant bipolaron theory of superconductivity can explain the dependence of the isotope coefficient in high-temperature superconductors on the critical temperature of a superconducting transition: in the case of strong electron–phonon interaction, the isotope coefficient is low when doping is optimal and high when it is weak. It is demonstrated that in the case of London penetration depth, the absolute value of the isotope coefficient behaves in the opposite way. A conclusion of the great role of non-adiabaticity in the case of weak doping is made. The criteria for d-wave phonon input into the isotope effect is established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Superconductivity)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring the Electron–Phonon Interaction in Two-Dimensional Superconductors with He-Atom Scattering
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 79; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040079 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Helium-atom scattering (HAS) spectroscopy from conducting surfaces has been shown to provide direct information on the electron–phonon interaction, more specifically the mass-enhancement factor λ from the temperature dependence of the Debye–Waller exponent, and the mode-selected electron–phonon coupling constants λQν from the [...] Read more.
Helium-atom scattering (HAS) spectroscopy from conducting surfaces has been shown to provide direct information on the electron–phonon interaction, more specifically the mass-enhancement factor λ from the temperature dependence of the Debye–Waller exponent, and the mode-selected electron–phonon coupling constants λQν from the inelastic HAS intensities from individual surface phonons. The recent applications of the method to superconducting ultra-thin films, quasi-1D high-index surfaces, and layered transition-metal and topological pnictogen chalcogenides are briefly reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potassium-Doped Para-Terphenyl: Structure, Electrical Transport Properties and Possible Signatures of a Superconducting Transition
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040078 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Preliminary evidence for the occurrence of high-TC superconductivity in alkali-doped organic materials, such as potassium-doped p-terphenyl (KPT), were recently obtained by magnetic susceptibility measurements and by the opening of a large superconducting gap as measured by ARPES and STM techniques. In [...] Read more.
Preliminary evidence for the occurrence of high-TC superconductivity in alkali-doped organic materials, such as potassium-doped p-terphenyl (KPT), were recently obtained by magnetic susceptibility measurements and by the opening of a large superconducting gap as measured by ARPES and STM techniques. In this work, KPT samples have been synthesized by a chemical method and characterized by low-temperature Raman scattering and resistivity measurements. Here, we report the occurrence of a resistivity drop of more than 4 orders of magnitude at low temperatures in KPT samples in the form of compressed powder. This fact was interpreted as a possible sign of a broad superconducting transition taking place below 90 K in granular KPT. The granular nature of the KPT system appears to be also related to the 20 K broadening of the resistivity drop around the critical temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Complex Matter 2020)
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Open AccessPerspective
The Role of the Short Coherence Length in Unconventional Superconductors
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 77; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040077 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 376
Abstract
A short coherence length is a distinctive feature of many cases of unconventional superconductivity. While in conventional superconductors, it is many orders of magnitude larger than the basic inter-particle distance, a short coherence length is common to superconductors as diverse as the cuprates, [...] Read more.
A short coherence length is a distinctive feature of many cases of unconventional superconductivity. While in conventional superconductors, it is many orders of magnitude larger than the basic inter-particle distance, a short coherence length is common to superconductors as diverse as the cuprates, the picnites and granular superconductors. We dwell particularly on the last, because their simple chemical structure makes them a favorable material for exploring fundamental phenomena such as the Bardeen-Cooper Schrieffer (BCS)-to-Bose–Einstein condensation cross-over and the effect of the vicinity of a Mott metal-to-insulator transition. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Temperature Dependent Structural Evolution of WSe2: A Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction Study
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040076 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 753
Abstract
A thorough investigation of the structural parameters of micromechanically exfoliated multilayer WSe2 flakes was undertaken between 400 K to 110 K. Crystal structure of WSe2 remains in the trigonal prismatic structure in this temperature range, however, with a clear difference in [...] Read more.
A thorough investigation of the structural parameters of micromechanically exfoliated multilayer WSe2 flakes was undertaken between 400 K to 110 K. Crystal structure of WSe2 remains in the trigonal prismatic structure in this temperature range, however, with a clear difference in the temperature dependence of the in-plane a, and the out-of-plane c, lattice parameters. The linear coefficients of thermal expansion of a and c are 5.132 × 10−6/K and 8.105 × 10−6/K, respectively. The temperature dependence of the unit-cell volume is analyzed using zero-pressure equation-of-state which yielded the Debye temperature of the WSe2 to be 160 K. Following the temperature dependence of the W-Se and W-W bond distances, a nonlinear behavior is observed in the former in contrast to a rather regular behavior of the later. This significant difference in the temperature dependence of the a and c lattice parameters can have consequences in the macroscopic physical properties of the system. A good correlation between the temperature dependence of the W-Se bond distance and Raman E2g1 mode has been observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Complex Matter 2020)
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Open AccessReview
Using In-Situ Laboratory and Synchrotron-Based X-ray Diffraction for Lithium-Ion Batteries Characterization: A Review on Recent Developments
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040075 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Renewable technologies, and in particular the electric vehicle revolution, have generated tremendous pressure for the improvement of lithium ion battery performance. To meet the increasingly high market demand, challenges include improving the energy density, extending cycle life and enhancing safety. In order to [...] Read more.
Renewable technologies, and in particular the electric vehicle revolution, have generated tremendous pressure for the improvement of lithium ion battery performance. To meet the increasingly high market demand, challenges include improving the energy density, extending cycle life and enhancing safety. In order to address these issues, a deep understanding of both the physical and chemical changes of battery materials under working conditions is crucial for linking degradation processes to their origins in material properties and their electrochemical signatures. In situ and operando synchrotron-based X-ray techniques provide powerful tools for battery materials research, allowing a deep understanding of structural evolution, redox processes and transport properties during cycling. In this review, in situ synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction methods are discussed in detail with an emphasis on recent advancements in improving the spatial and temporal resolution. The experimental approaches reviewed here include cell designs and materials, as well as beamline experimental setup details. Finally, future challenges and opportunities for battery technologies are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Pseudopotential Approach within Density-Functional Theory: The Case of Atomic Metallic Hydrogen
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040074 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Internal energies, enthalpies, phonon dispersion curves, and superconductivity of atomic metallic hydrogen are calculated. The standard use of pseudopotentials in density-functional theory are compared with full Coulomb-potential, all-electron linear muffin-tin orbital calculations. Quantitatively similar results are found as far as internal energies are [...] Read more.
Internal energies, enthalpies, phonon dispersion curves, and superconductivity of atomic metallic hydrogen are calculated. The standard use of pseudopotentials in density-functional theory are compared with full Coulomb-potential, all-electron linear muffin-tin orbital calculations. Quantitatively similar results are found as far as internal energies are concerned. Larger differences are found for phase-transition pressures; significant enough to affect the phase diagram. Electron–phonon spectral functions α2F(ω) also show significant differences. Against expectation, the estimated superconducting critical-temperature Tc of the first atomic metallic phase I41/amd (Cs-IV) at 500 GPa is actually higher. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Elastic Properties and Fracture Patterns of MoX2 (X = S, Se, Te) Membranes: A Reactive Molecular Dynamics Study
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040073 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 410
Abstract
We carried out fully-atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations to study the elastic properties and fracture patterns of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) MoX2 (X = S, Se, Te) membranes, in their 2H and 1T phases, within the framework of the Stillinger–Weber potential. Results [...] Read more.
We carried out fully-atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations to study the elastic properties and fracture patterns of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) MoX2 (X = S, Se, Te) membranes, in their 2H and 1T phases, within the framework of the Stillinger–Weber potential. Results showed that the fracture mechanism of these membranes occurs through a fast crack propagation followed by their abrupt rupture into moieties. As a general trend, the translated arrangement of the chalcogen atoms in the 1T phase contributes to diminishing their structural stability when contrasted with the 2H one. Among the TMDs studied here, 2H-MoSe2 has a higher tensile strength (25.98 GPa). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physics of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Spin Polarized Band in VO2/TiO2(001) Strained Films via Orbital Selective Constant Initial State Spectroscopy
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040072 - 12 Nov 2020
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The VO2 is a 3d1 electron system that undergoes a reversible metal–insulator transition (MIT) triggered by temperature and characterized by an interplay between orbital, charge and lattice degrees of freedom. The characterization of the MIT features are therefore extremely challenging and [...] Read more.
The VO2 is a 3d1 electron system that undergoes a reversible metal–insulator transition (MIT) triggered by temperature and characterized by an interplay between orbital, charge and lattice degrees of freedom. The characterization of the MIT features are therefore extremely challenging and powerful investigation tools are required. In this work, we demonstrate how a combination of resonant photoemission and constant initial state (CIS) spectroscopy can be used as an orbital selective probe of the MIT studying three different VO2/TiO2(001) strained films. The CIS spectra of the V 3d and V 3p photo-electrons shows sensitivity to different orbital contribution and the presence of a spin polarized band close to the Fermi level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Complex Matter 2020)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Asymmetric Hysteresis Loops in Co Thin Films
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040071 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 492
Abstract
Asymmetric magnetic hysteresis loops are usually found in exchange bias (EB) systems, typically after field cooling a system below the Néel temperature of an antiferromagnet exchange coupled to a ferromagnet. Alternatively, asymmetric hysteresis loops may occur due to undetected minor loops or in [...] Read more.
Asymmetric magnetic hysteresis loops are usually found in exchange bias (EB) systems, typically after field cooling a system below the Néel temperature of an antiferromagnet exchange coupled to a ferromagnet. Alternatively, asymmetric hysteresis loops may occur due to undetected minor loops or in systems with a rotational anisotropy. Here, we report on an exchange bias thin film system MgO(100)/Co/CoO, examined at room temperature, which is far above the blocking temperature, by the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE). While the longitudinal hysteresis loops partly show steps which are well-known from diverse purely ferromagnetic systems, the transverse hysteresis loops exhibit clear asymmetries, similar to exchange biased systems at low temperatures, and unusual transverse magnetization values at saturation. Since minor loops and a rotational anisotropy can be excluded in this case, this asymmetry can possibly be a residue of the exchange bias coupling at lower temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles and Nanodevices)
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Open AccessReview
Revival of Charge Density Waves and Charge Density Fluctuations in Cuprate High-Temperature Superconductors
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040070 - 02 Nov 2020
Viewed by 494
Abstract
I present here a short memory of my scientific contacts with K.A. Müller starting from the Interlaken Conference (1988), Erice (1992 and 1993), and Cottbus (1994) on the initial studies on phase separation (PS) and charge inhomogeneity in cuprates carried out against the [...] Read more.
I present here a short memory of my scientific contacts with K.A. Müller starting from the Interlaken Conference (1988), Erice (1992 and 1993), and Cottbus (1994) on the initial studies on phase separation (PS) and charge inhomogeneity in cuprates carried out against the view of the majority of the scientific community at that time. Going over the years and passing through the charge density wave (CDW) instability of the correlated Fermi liquid (FL) and to the consequences of charge density fluctuations (CDFs), I end with a presentation of my current research activity on CDWs and the related two-dimensional charge density fluctuations (2D-CDFs). A scenario follows of the physics of cuprates, which includes the solution of the decades-long problem of the strange metal (SM) state. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
First-Principles Calculation of Copper Oxide Superconductors That Supports the Kamimura-Suwa Model
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040069 - 02 Nov 2020
Viewed by 634
Abstract
In 1986 Bednorz and Műller discovered high temperature superconductivity in copper oxides by chemically doping holes into La2CuO4 (LCO), the antiferromagnetic insulator. Despite intense experimental and theoretical research during the past 34 years, no general consensus on the electronic-spin structures [...] Read more.
In 1986 Bednorz and Műller discovered high temperature superconductivity in copper oxides by chemically doping holes into La2CuO4 (LCO), the antiferromagnetic insulator. Despite intense experimental and theoretical research during the past 34 years, no general consensus on the electronic-spin structures and the origin of pseudogap has been obtained. In this circumstance, we performed a first-principles calculation of underdoped cuprate superconductors La2-xSrxCuO4 (LSCO) within the meta-generalized gradient approximation of the density functional theory. Our calculations clarify first the important role of the anti Jahn-Teller (JT) effect, the backward deformation against the JT distortion in La2CuO4 by doping extra holes. The resulting electronic structure agrees with the two-component theory provided by the tight-binding model of Kamimura and Suwa (K-S), which has been also used to elucidate the d-wave superconductivity. Our first-principles calculation thus justifies the K-S model and demonstrates advanced understanding of cuprates. For example, the remarkable feature of our calculations is the appearance of the spin-polarized band with a nearly flat-band character, showing the peaky nature in the density of states at the Fermi level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perovskite Crystals: Unique Pseudo-Jahn–Teller Origin of Ferroelectricity, Multiferroicity, Permittivity, Flexoelectricity, and Polar Nanoregions
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040068 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
In a semi-review paper, we show that the local pseudo-Jahn–Teller effect (PJTE) in transition metal B ion center of ABO3 perovskite crystals, notably BaTiO3, is the basis of all their main properties. The vibronic coupling between the ground and excited [...] Read more.
In a semi-review paper, we show that the local pseudo-Jahn–Teller effect (PJTE) in transition metal B ion center of ABO3 perovskite crystals, notably BaTiO3, is the basis of all their main properties. The vibronic coupling between the ground and excited electronic states of the local BO6 center results in dipolar distortions, leading to an eight-well adiabatic potential energy surface with local tunneling or over-the-barrier transitions between them. The intercenter interaction between these dipolar dynamic units results in the formation of the temperature-dependent three ferroelectric and one paraelectric phases with order–disorder phase transitions. The local PJTE dipolar distortion is subject to the presence of sufficiently close in energy local electronic states with opposite parity but the same spin multiplicity, thus limiting the electronic structure and spin of the B(dn) ions that can trigger ferroelectricity. This allowed us to formulate the necessary conditions for the transition metal perovskites to possess both ferroelectric and magnetic (multiferroic) properties simultaneously. It clarifies the role of spin in the spontaneous polarization. We also show that the interaction between the independently rotating dipoles in the paraelectric phase may lead to a self-assembly process resulting in polar nanoregions and relaxor properties. Exploring interactions of PJTE ferroelectrics with external perturbations, we revealed a completely novel property—orientational polarization in solids—a phenomenon first noticed by P. Debye in 1912 as a possibility, which was never found till now. The hindered rotation of the local dipole moments and their ordering along an external field is qualitatively similar to the behavior of polar molecules in liquids, thus adding a new dimension to the properties of solids—notably, the perovskite ferroelectrics. We estimated the contribution of the orientational polarization to the permittivity and flexoelectricity of perovskite crystals in different limiting conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Are Superconductivity Mechanisms a Matter for Chemists?
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040067 - 27 Oct 2020
Viewed by 479
Abstract
From a tight-binding approach to the instability of nonbonding electronic states, along a double-well potential, we consider here how the coupling of these states with a phonon mode can open a superconducting gap at the Fermi level. The alternation of broken- and unbroken-symmetry [...] Read more.
From a tight-binding approach to the instability of nonbonding electronic states, along a double-well potential, we consider here how the coupling of these states with a phonon mode can open a superconducting gap at the Fermi level. The alternation of broken- and unbroken-symmetry states, along the phonon breathing distortion, induces the mixing of band-edge states on a very short timescale, according to the noncrossing rule of chemists. We show that this mixing may generate cationic and anionic disproportionation. The negative U mechanism is thus justified here, leading to the mixing of occupied and unoccupied pair states, for the opening of a 2Δ superconducting gap. The closeness of broad σ* and narrow π* bands in the vicinity of the Fermi level should favor the superconducting phase over the insulating or metallic state, in agreement with Micnas et al.’s studies. We applied this approach to several families of superconducting materials, i.e., doped strontium titanate, high-TC cuprates and iron selenide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Superconductivity)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Temperature-Independent Cuprate Pseudogap from Planar Oxygen NMR
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040066 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Planar oxygen nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation and shift data from all cuprate superconductors available in the literature are analyzed. They reveal a temperature-independent pseudogap at the Fermi surface, which increases with decreasing doping in family-specific ways, i.e., for some materials, the pseudogap [...] Read more.
Planar oxygen nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation and shift data from all cuprate superconductors available in the literature are analyzed. They reveal a temperature-independent pseudogap at the Fermi surface, which increases with decreasing doping in family-specific ways, i.e., for some materials, the pseudogap is substantial at optimal doping while for others it is nearly closed at optimal doping. The states above the pseudogap, or in its absence are similar for all cuprates and doping levels, and Fermi liquid-like. If the pseudogap is assumed exponential it can be as large as about 1500 K for the most underdoped systems, relating it to the exchange coupling. The pseudogap can vary substantially throughout a material, being the cause of cuprate inhomogeneity in terms of charge and spin, so consequences for the NMR analyses are discussed. This pseudogap appears to be in agreement with the specific heat data measured for the YBaCuO family of materials, long ago. Nuclear relaxation and shift show deviations from this scenario near Tc, possibly due to other in-gap states. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Phase Separation and Pairing Fluctuations in Oxide Materials
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040065 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The microscopic mechanism of charge instabilities and the formation of inhomogeneous states in systems with strong electron correlations is investigated. We demonstrate that within a strong coupling expansion the single-band Hubbard model shows an instability towards phase separation and extend the approach also [...] Read more.
The microscopic mechanism of charge instabilities and the formation of inhomogeneous states in systems with strong electron correlations is investigated. We demonstrate that within a strong coupling expansion the single-band Hubbard model shows an instability towards phase separation and extend the approach also for an analysis of phase separation in the Hubbard-Kanamori hamiltonian as a prototypical multiband model. We study the pairing fluctuations on top of an inhomogeneous stripe state where superconducting correlations in the extended s-wave and d-wave channels correspond to (anti)bound states in the two-particle spectra. Whereas extended s-wave fluctuations are relevant on the scale of the local interaction parameter U, we find that d-wave fluctuations are pronounced in the energy range of the active subband which crosses the Fermi level. As a result, low energy spin and charge fluctuations can transfer the d-wave correlations from the bound states to the low energy quasiparticle bands. Our investigations therefore help to understand the coexistence of stripe correlations and d-wave superconductivity in cuprates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Statistical Mechanics of Discrete Multicomponent Fragmentation
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040064 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 448
Abstract
We formulate the statistics of the discrete multicomponent fragmentation event using a methodology borrowed from statistical mechanics. We generate the ensemble of all feasible distributions that can be formed when a single integer multicomponent mass is broken into fixed number of fragments and [...] Read more.
We formulate the statistics of the discrete multicomponent fragmentation event using a methodology borrowed from statistical mechanics. We generate the ensemble of all feasible distributions that can be formed when a single integer multicomponent mass is broken into fixed number of fragments and calculate the combinatorial multiplicity of all distributions in the set. We define random fragmentation by the condition that the probability of distribution be proportional to its multiplicity, and obtain the partition function and the mean distribution in closed form. We then introduce a functional that biases the probability of distribution to produce in a systematic manner fragment distributions that deviate to any arbitrary degree from the random case. We corroborate the results of the theory by Monte Carlo simulation, and demonstrate examples in which components in sieve cuts of the fragment distribution undergo preferential mixing or segregation relative to the parent particle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Condensed Matter Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Unconventional Transport Properties of Reduced Tungsten Oxide WO2.9
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040063 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
The temperature and magnetic field dependence of resistivity in WO2.9 was investigated. The variation of resistivity with temperature displayed unusual features, such as a broad maximum around 230 K and a logarithmic increase of resistivity below 16 K. In the temperature range [...] Read more.
The temperature and magnetic field dependence of resistivity in WO2.9 was investigated. The variation of resistivity with temperature displayed unusual features, such as a broad maximum around 230 K and a logarithmic increase of resistivity below 16 K. In the temperature range 16–230 K, we observed metallic-like behavior with a positive temperature coefficient. The combined analysis of resistivity and magnetoresistance (MR) data shows that these unusual transport properties of WO2.9 can be understood by considering the (bi)polaronic nature of charge carriers. In contrast to magnetization data, superconducting transition below Tc = 80 K was not detected in resistivity measurements, indicating that the superconductivity is localized in small regions that do not percolate. We found a strong increase in positive MR below 80 K. This effect is similar to that observed in underdoped cuprates, where the substantial increase of MR is attributed to superconducting fluctuations in small clusters. Therefore, the temperature dependence of MR indicates the presence of non-percolating superconducting clusters in WO2.9 below 80 K in agreement with magnetization data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interfacial Crystallization within Liquid Marbles
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040062 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
We report interfacial crystallization in the droplets of saline solutions placed on superhydrophobic surfaces and liquid marbles filled with the saline. Evaporation of saline droplets deposited on superhydrophobic surface resulted in the formation of cup-shaped millimeter-scaled residues. The formation of the cup-like deposit [...] Read more.
We report interfacial crystallization in the droplets of saline solutions placed on superhydrophobic surfaces and liquid marbles filled with the saline. Evaporation of saline droplets deposited on superhydrophobic surface resulted in the formation of cup-shaped millimeter-scaled residues. The formation of the cup-like deposit is reasonably explained within the framework of the theory of the coffee-stain effect, namely, the rate of heterogeneous crystallization along the contact line of the droplet is significantly higher than in the droplet bulk. Crystallization within evaporated saline marbles coated with lycopodium particles depends strongly on the evaporation rate. Rapidly evaporated saline marbles yielded dented shells built of a mixture of colloidal particles and NaCl crystals. We relate the formation of these shells to the interfacial crystallization promoted by hydrophobic particles coating the marbles, accompanied with the upward convection flows supplying the saline to the particles, serving as the centers of interfacial crystallization. Convective flows prevail over the diffusion mass transport for the saline marbles heated from below. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surface and Interfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantum Gases of Dipoles, Quadrupoles and Octupoles in Gross–Pitaevskii Formalism with Form Factor
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040061 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Here, classical and quantum field theory of dipolar, axisymmetric quadrupolar and octupolar Bose gases is considered within a general approach. Dipole, axisymmetric quadrupole and octupole interaction potentials in the momentum representation are calculated. These results clearly demonstrate attraction and repulsion areas in corresponding [...] Read more.
Here, classical and quantum field theory of dipolar, axisymmetric quadrupolar and octupolar Bose gases is considered within a general approach. Dipole, axisymmetric quadrupole and octupole interaction potentials in the momentum representation are calculated. These results clearly demonstrate attraction and repulsion areas in corresponding gases. Then the Gross–Pitaevskii (GP) equation, which plays a key role in the present paper, is derived from the corresponding functional. The zoology of the form factors appearing in the GP equation is studied in details. The proper classes for the description of spatially non-uniform condensates form factors are chosen. In the Thomas–Fermi approximation a general solution of the GP equation with a quasilocal form factor is obtained. This solution has an interesting form in terms of a double rapidly converging series that universally includes all the interactions considered. Plots of condensate density functions for the exponential-trigonometric form factor are given. For the sake of completeness, in this paper we consider the GP equation with an optical lattice potential in the limit of small condensate densities. This limit does not distinguish between dipolar, quadrupolar and octupolar gases. An important analysis of the condensate stability, in other words the study of condensate excitations, is also performed in this paper. In the Gaussian approximation (from the Gross–Pitaevskii functional), a functional describing the perturbations of the condensate is derived in detail. This problem is an analog of the Bogolubov transformation used in the study of quantum Bose gases in operator formalism. For a probe wave function in the form of a plane wave, a spectrum of (Bogoliubov) excitations was obtained, from which an equation describing the threshold momentum for the emergence of instability was derived. An important result of this paper is the dependence of the threshold on the momentum of a stationary condensate. For completeness of the presentation, the approximating expression in the form of a rapidly converging series is obtained for the corresponding dependence, and plots of the corresponding series for the exponential-trigonometric form factor are given. Finally, in the conclusion a quantum hydrodynamic theory for dipolar, axisymmetric quadrupolar and octupolar gases is briefly presented, giving a clue to the experimental determination of the form factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Condensed Matter Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Ferroelectricity, Superconductivity, and SrTiO3—Passions of K.A. Müller
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040060 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
SrTiO3 is an insulating material which, using chemical doping, pressure, strain or isotope substitution, can be turned into a ferroelectric material or into a superconductor. The material itself, and the two aforementioned phenomena, have been subjects of intensive research of Karl Alex [...] Read more.
SrTiO3 is an insulating material which, using chemical doping, pressure, strain or isotope substitution, can be turned into a ferroelectric material or into a superconductor. The material itself, and the two aforementioned phenomena, have been subjects of intensive research of Karl Alex Müller and have been a source of inspiration, among other things, for his Nobel prize-winning research on high temperature superconductivity. An intriguing outstanding question is whether the occurrence of ferroelectricity and superconductivity in the same material is just a coincidence, or whether a deeper connection exists. In addition there is the empirical question of how these two phenomena interact with each other. Here we show that it is possible to induce superconductivity in a two-dimensional layer at the interface of SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 when we make the SrTiO3 ferroelectric by means of 18O substitution. Our experiments indicate that the ferroelectricity is perfectly compatible with having a superconducting two-dimensional electron system at the interface. This provides a promising avenue for manipulating superconductivity in a non centrosymmetric environment. Full article
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Open AccessCreative
Color Centers and Jahn-Teller Effect in Ionic Crystals—My Scientific Encounters with Alex Müller
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040059 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 516
Abstract
This contribution presents a personal account of the influence Karl Alex Müller had on the early stages of my career and the scientific questions about which we exchanged our views over the years. While both our research branched into a variety of topics, [...] Read more.
This contribution presents a personal account of the influence Karl Alex Müller had on the early stages of my career and the scientific questions about which we exchanged our views over the years. While both our research branched into a variety of topics, the common experimental technique, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, and the Jahn-Teller effect led to fruitful exchanges of ideas on these matters in semiconducting, metallic and ionic crystals. Full article
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Open AccessReview
SrTiO3—Glimpses of an Inexhaustible Source of Novel Solid State Phenomena
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040058 - 04 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 555
Abstract
The purpose of this selective review is primarily to demonstrate the large versatility of the insulating quantum paraelectric perovskite SrTiO3 explained in “Introduction” part, and “Routes of SrTiO3 toward ferroelectricity and other collective states” part. Apart from ferroelectricity under various boundary [...] Read more.
The purpose of this selective review is primarily to demonstrate the large versatility of the insulating quantum paraelectric perovskite SrTiO3 explained in “Introduction” part, and “Routes of SrTiO3 toward ferroelectricity and other collective states” part. Apart from ferroelectricity under various boundary conditions, it exhibits regular electronic and superconductivity via doping or external fields and is capable of displaying diverse coupled states. “Magnetoelectric multiglass (Sr,Mn)TiO3” part, deals with mesoscopic physics of the solid solution SrTiO3:Mn2+. It is at the origin of both polar and spin cluster glass forming and is altogether a novel multiferroic system. Independent transitions at different glass temperatures, power law dynamic criticality, divergent third-order susceptibilities, and higher order magneto-electric interactions are convincing fingerprints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering Porous Silicon Nanowires with Tuneable Electronic Properties
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040057 - 28 Sep 2020
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Structural and electronic properties of silicon nanowires with pre-designed structures are investigated. Wires with distinct structure were investigated via advanced spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and Raman scattering as well as transport measurements. We show that wire structures can be engineered [...] Read more.
Structural and electronic properties of silicon nanowires with pre-designed structures are investigated. Wires with distinct structure were investigated via advanced spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and Raman scattering as well as transport measurements. We show that wire structures can be engineered with metal assisted etching fabrication process via the catalytic solution ratios as well as changing doping type and level. In this way unique well-defined electronic configurations and density of states are obtained in the synthesized wires leading to different charge carrier and phonon dynamics in addition to photoluminescence modulations. We demonstrate that the electronic properties of these structures depend by the final geometry of these systems as determined by the synthesis process. These wires are characterized by a large internal surface and a modulated DOS with a significantly high number of surface states within the band structure. The results improve the understanding of the different electronic structures of these semiconducting nanowires opening new possibilities of future advanced device designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Complex Matter 2020)
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Open AccessCommunication
Detection of Two Phenomena Opposite to the Expected Ones
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040056 - 24 Sep 2020
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Both phenomena mentioned in the title were revealed by the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) method. The first phenomenon was found in superconducting La metal with Er impurities—the spin relaxation rate of the erbium impurities was sharply decreasing after transition into the superconducting state [...] Read more.
Both phenomena mentioned in the title were revealed by the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) method. The first phenomenon was found in superconducting La metal with Er impurities—the spin relaxation rate of the erbium impurities was sharply decreasing after transition into the superconducting state instead of the expected, i.e., the well-known Hebel–Slichter peak. The second unexpected phenomenon was discovered in the YbRh2Si2 compound—an excellent EPR signal from the Yb ions was observed at temperatures below the Kondo temperature determined thermodynamically, while according to the existing belief the EPR signal should not be observed at these temperatures due to the Kondo effect. In this tribute to K. Alex Müller, I describe the nature of the detected phenomena. Full article
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Open AccessCreative
A Retrospective of Materials Synthesis at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/condmat5040055 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 472
Abstract
The availability of high-quality and well characterized materials is a key factor for condensed-matter research [...] Full article
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