Singular charge fluctuations at a magnetic quantum critical point




Prochaska, L.
Li, X
MacFarland, D.C.
Andrews, A. M.
Bonta, M.
Bianco, E. F.
Yazdi, S.
Schrenk, W.
Detz, A.
Limbeck, A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Strange metal behavior is ubiquitous to correlated materials ranging from cuprate superconductors to bilayer graphene. There is increasing recognition that it arises from physics beyond the quantum fluctuations of a Landau order parameter which, in quantum critical heavy fermion antiferromagnets, may be realized as critical Kondo entanglement of spin and charge. The dynamics of the associated electronic delocalization transition could be ideally probed by optical conductivity, but experiments in the corresponding frequency and temperature ranges have remained elusive. We present terahertz time-domain transmission spectroscopy on molecular beam epitaxy-grown thin films of YbRh2Si2, a model strange metal compound. We observe frequency over temperature scaling of the optical conductivity as a hallmark of beyond-Landau quantum criticality. Our discovery implicates critical charge fluctuations as playing a central role in the strange metal behavior, thereby elucidating one of the longstanding mysteries of correlated quantum matter.



LCSH Subject Headings