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Title: Quasiparticle interference in strongly correlated electronic systems
Author: Derry, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 9764
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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We investigate the manifestation of strong electronic correlations in the quasiparticle interference (QPI), arising from the scattering of conduction electrons from defects and impurities in an otherwise translationally-invariant host. The QPI may be measured experimentally as the Fourier transform of the spatial modulations in the host surface density of states that result, which are mapped using a scanning tunnelling microscope. We calculate the QPI for a range of physically relevant models, demonstrating the effect of strong local electronic correlations arising in systems of magnetic impurities adsorbed on the surface of non-interacting host systems. In the first instance the effect of these magnetic impurities is modelled via the single Anderson impurity model, treated via numerical renormalization group (NRG) calculations. The scattering of conduction electrons, and hence the QPI, demonstrate an array of characteristic signatures of the many-body state formed by the impurity, for example due to the Kondo effect. The effect of multiple impurities on the QPI is also investigated, with a numerically-exact treatment of the system of two Anderson impurities via state-of-the-art NRG calculations. Inter-impurity interactions are found to result in additional scattering channels and additional features in the QPI. The QPI is then investigated for the layered transition metal oxide Sr2RuO4, for which strong interactions in the host conduction electrons give rise to an unconventional triplet superconducting state at Tc ∼ 1.5K. The detailed mechanism for this superconductivity is still unknown, but electron-electron or electron-phonon interactions are believed to play a central role. We simulate the QPI in Sr2RuO4, employing an effective parametrized model consisting of three conduction bands derived from the Ru 4d t2g orbitals that takes into account spin orbit coupling and the anisotropy of the Ru t2g orbitals. Signatures of such interactions in the normal state are investigated by comparing these model calculations to experimental results. We also calculate the QPI in the superconducting state, and propose how experimental measurements may provide direct evidence of the anisotropy and symmetry of the superconducting gap, and thus offer insight into the pairing mechanism and the superconducting state.
Supervisor: Logan, David Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemistry ; Physical and theoretical ; Chemistry ; Physical and theoretical--Mathematical models ; Condensed matter--Magnetic properties ; Condensed matter--Computer simulation ; Strongly-correlated electron systems ; Computational physics ; Quasiparticle interference ; Kondo effect ; Quantum impurity physics