At certain quantum critical points in metals, an entire Fermi surface may disappear. A crucial question is the nature of the electronic excitations at the critical point. Here we provide arguments showing that at such quantum critical points, the Fermi surface remains sharply defined even though the Landau quasiparticle is absent. The presence of such a critical Fermi surface has a number of consequences for the universal phenomena near the quantum critical point which are discussed. In particular, the structure of scaling of the universal critical singularities can be significantly modified from more familiar criticality. Scaling hypotheses appropriate to a critical Fermi surface are proposed. Implications for experiments on heavy fermion critical points are discussed. Various phenomena in the normal state of the cuprates are also examined from this perspective. We suggest that a phase transition that involves a dramatic reconstruction of the Fermi surface might underlie a number of strange observations in the metallic states above the superconducting dome.
Physical Review B
- Pub Date:
- July 2008
- Non-Fermi-liquid ground states electron phase diagrams and phase transitions in model systems;
- Condensed Matter - Strongly Correlated Electrons
- 15 pages, 7 figures