Theory of the nodal nematic quantum phase transition in superconductors

Eun Ah Kim, Michael J. Lawler, Paul Oreto, Subir Sachdev, Eduardo Fradkin, Steven A. Kivelson

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86 Scopus citations


We study the character of an Ising nematic quantum phase transition deep inside a d -wave superconducting state with nodal quasiparticles in a two-dimensional tetragonal crystal. We find that, within a 1/N expansion, the transition is continuous. To leading order in 1/N, quantum fluctuations enhance the dispersion anisotropy of the nodal excitations and cause strong scattering, which critically broadens the quasiparticle (qp) peaks in the spectral function, except in a narrow wedge in momentum space near the Fermi surface where the qps remain sharp. We also consider the possible existence of a nematic glass phase in the presence of weak disorder. Some possible implications for cuprate physics are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184514
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - 22 May 2008


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