Category Archives: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Fermi pockets and quantum oscillations of the Hall coefficient in high-temperature superconductors

Recent quantum oscillation measurements in high-temperature superconductors in high magnetic fields and low temperatures have ushered in a new era. These experiments explore the normal state from which superconductivity arises and provide evidence of a reconstructed Fermi surface consisting of electron and hole pockets in a regime in which such a possibility was previously considered to be remote. More specifically, the Hall coefficient has been found to oscillate according to the Onsager quantization condition, involving only fundamental constants and the areas of the pockets, but with a sign that is negative. Here, we explain the observations with the  theory that the alleged normal state exhibits a hidden order, the d-density wave, which breaks symmetries signifying time reversal, translation by a lattice spacing, and a rotation by an angle /2, while the product of any two symmetry operations is preserved. The success of our analysis underscores the importance of spontaneous breaking of symmetries, Fermi surface reconstruction, and conventional quasiparticles. We primarily focus on the version of the order that is commensurate with the underlying crystalline lattice, but we also touch on the consequences if the order were to incommensurate. It is shown that whereas commensurate order results in two independent oscillation frequencies as a function of the inverse of the applied magnetic field, incommensurate order leads to three independent frequencies. The oscillation amplitudes, however, are determined by the mobilities of the charge carriers comprising the Fermi pockets.

Sudip Chakravarty 1 and Hae-Young Kee 2
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095; and
2 Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A7