Theses Doctoral

Visualizing Quasiparticle Scattering of Nematicity in NaFeAs and of Topological Surface States in MoTe2

Andrade, Erick Fernando

Scanning tunneling microscopy has been a powerful tool in expanding our understanding in the study of condensed matter physics. Many of the exotic materials of interest exhibit rich phases of matter at different temperatures and pressures. In order to probe the rich array of phases we developed a novel technique of combining scanning tunneling microscopy with tunable temperature and tunable mechanical strain in ultra high vacuum conditions. The mechanisms that give rise to high temperature superconductivity has been a long standing problem in physics. The discovered of iron-based high temperature superconductors (pnictides) have spurred much research into the mechanisms that give rise to the different exotic states observed in these new materials in hopes to better understand the underlying nature of unconventional superconductivity. Here we present a detailed study of the Nematic ordered phase in the prototypical iron- based high temperature superconductor, NaFeAs. Using our novel strain, temperature, scanning tunneling microscopy technique, we can attain an atomic-resolution view of the effects of the nematic phase on the local density of states along with the effects of anisotropic strain on the electronic structure. We further systematically study NaFeAs along both axes of the phase diagram, tuning temperature and Cu doping. We probe the material from the parent compound to beyond the supercon- ducting dome with increased Cu doping and from superconducting temperatures towell above the structural transition temperatures. Using our novel strain, temperature, scanning tunneling microscopy technique we nanoscopically identified the region of long-range nematic order and the region of nematic fluctuations in the phase diagram and find that true long range nematic order sets in at the tetragonal to orthorhombic structural transition temperature but nematic fluctuations continue at higher temperatures and also into the overdoped regime, then seemingly disappearing at the edge of the superconducting dome. We further find that our applied stain increasing the amplitude of the nematic fluctuations showing strong nonlinear coupling between strain and electronic nematicity. The power of our novel strain, temperature, scanning tunneling microscopy tech- nique in probing quasiparticle interference proves ideal for studying the topological, Weyl semimetal 1T’-MoTe 2 . In it’s orthorombic phase the material has topologically nontrivial protected surface Fermi arcs. By measuring quasiparticle interference in this material at different temperatures we can probe both topologically nontrivial phase (orthorhombic phase) and the topologically trivial phase (monoclinic phase). In the topologically nontrivial phase we see quasiparticle interference measurements in good agreement with angular resolved photoemission spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. In the topologically trivial phase we see the lack of the quasiparticle interference coming from the trivial surface state.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Pasupathy, Abhay
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 21, 2018