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Bad Metals from Fluctuating Density Waves

Luca V. Delacrétaz, Blaise Goutéraux, Sean A. Hartnoll, Anna Karlsson

SciPost Phys. 3, 025 (2017) · published 29 September 2017


Bad metals have a large resistivity without being strongly disordered. In many bad metals the Drude peak moves away from zero frequency as the resistivity becomes large at increasing temperatures. We catalogue the position and width of the `displaced Drude peak' in the observed optical conductivity of several families of bad metals, showing that $\omega_\text{peak} \sim \Delta \omega \sim k_BT/\hbar$. This is the same quantum critical timescale that underpins the $T$-linear dc resistivity of many of these materials. We provide a unified theoretical description of the optical and dc transport properties of bad metals in terms of the hydrodynamics of short range quantum critical fluctuations of incommensurate density wave order. Within hydrodynamics, pinned translational order is essential to obtain the nonzero frequency peak.

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Ontology / Topics

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Bad metals Critical fluctuations Drude peak Hydrodynamics Incommensurate density waves Optical conductivity

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