Designing new quantum materials with long-lived electron spin states urgently requires a general theoretical formalism and computational technique to reliably predict intrinsic spin relaxation times. We present a new, accurate and universal first-principles methodology based on Lindbladian dynamics of density matrices to calculate spin-phonon relaxation time of solids with arbitrary spin mixing and crystal symmetry. This method describes contributions of Elliott-Yafet and D’yakonov-Perel’ mechanisms to spin relaxation for systems with and without inversion symmetry on an equal footing. We show that intrinsic spin and momentum relaxation times both decrease with increasing temperature; however, for the D’yakonov-Perel’ mechanism, spin relaxation time varies inversely with extrinsic scattering time. We predict large anisotropy of spin lifetime in transition metal dichalcogenides. The excellent agreement with experiments for a broad range of materials underscores the predictive capability of our method for properties critical to quantum information science.
Whereas electron-phonon scattering relaxes the electron’s momentum in metals, a perpetual exchange of momentum between phonons and electrons may conserve total momentum and lead to a coupled electron-phonon liquid. Such a phase of matter could be a platform for observing electron hydrodynamics. Here we present evidence of an electron-phonon liquid in the transition metal ditetrelide, NbGe2, from three different experiments. First, quantum oscillations reveal an enhanced quasiparticle mass, which is unexpected in NbGe2with weak electron-electron correlations, hence pointing at electron-phonon interactions. Second, resistivity measurements exhibit a discrepancy between the experimental data and standard Fermi liquid calculations. Third, Raman scattering shows anomalous temperature dependences of the phonon linewidths that fit an empirical model based on phonon-electron coupling. We discuss structural factors, such as chiral symmetry, short metallic bonds, and a low-symmetry coordination environment as potential design principles for materials with coupled electron-phonon liquid.
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- Nature Communications
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- National Science Foundation
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