Conductivity of electronic liquid-crystalline mesophases

TitleConductivity of electronic liquid-crystalline mesophases
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFernandes RM, Schmalian J, Westfahl H
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Date Published11/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberISI:000261214800038
KeywordsCORRELATED PERCOLATION, glasses, high-temperature superconductors, long-range, phase-transitions, RESISTOR NETWORK, separation, state, STRIPES, system

We investigate the connection between the transport properties and the thermodynamics of electronic systems with a tendency to form broken-symmetry mesophases evocative of the physics of liquid crystals. Through a hydrodynamic approach to the electronic transport in inhomogeneous systems, we develop a perturbative expansion for the macroscopic conductivity to study the transport of two-dimensional smectic and nematic phases. At the fluctuation-induced first-order phase transition expected for the smectic to isotropic transition, a jump in the macroscopic conductivity is predicted, with a directional dependence that reflects the fluctuation spectrum of the order parameter. When elastic fluctuation modes melt the smectic phase into a nematic phase, the resultant nematic order parameter is shown to be linearly proportional to the conductivity anisotropy. We also outline qualitative comparisons with recent experimental works on strongly correlated materials that show evidences of electronic liquid-crystalline mesophases.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. B