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Bismuth in strong magnetic fields: unconventional Zeeman coupling and correlation effects

Alicea, Jason and Balents, Leon (2009) Bismuth in strong magnetic fields: unconventional Zeeman coupling and correlation effects. Physical Review B, 79 (24). Art. No. 241101. ISSN 1098-0121.

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While the behavior of strongly interacting two-dimensional electrons in high magnetic fields is by now well understood, our understanding of the three-dimensional (3D) case is comparatively rudimentary. Illuminating this disparity are recent experiments on 3D bismuth, where unanticipated transport and magnetization structure—including hysteresis—persist even when all carriers are expected to reside in the lowest Landau level. Motivated by these findings, we derive a low-energy Hamiltonian for the hole and three Dirac electron pockets in bismuth which, crucially, encodes an unconventional Zeeman effect generated by spin-orbit coupling. We show that (1) this Zeeman coupling strongly suppresses the quantum limit for the Dirac electrons, giving rise to the observed magnetization structure, and (2) the hysteresis coincides with one of the pockets emptying its second Landau level, which is where Coulomb effects are most pronounced. Incorporating interactions, we find instabilities toward charge-density-wave and Wigner crystal phases and propose that hysteresis arises from a first-order transition out of the latter.

Item Type:Article
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Alicea, Jason0000-0001-9979-3423
Additional Information:©2009 The American Physical Society. Received 27 October 2008; revised 16 April 2009; published 1 June 2009. It is a pleasure to acknowledge illuminating discussions with K. Behnia, Lu Li, O. Motrunich, N. P. Ong, and G. Refael, as well as the hospitality of the KITP where this work was initiated. We also acknowledge support from the Lee A. DuBridge Foundation (J.A.) and the Packard Foundation and National Science Foundation through Grants No. DMR-0804564 and No. PHY05-51164 (L.B.). PACS numbers: 71.45.Lr, 71.10.Pm, 72.20.Ht, 71.70.Ej
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Lee A. DuBridge FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:bismuth, charge density waves, Landau levels, magnetic hysteresis, solid-state phase transformations, spin-orbit interactions, Wigner crystal, Zeeman effect
Issue or Number:24
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090805-080211875
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14804
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Aug 2009 22:44
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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