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  1. Abstract

    The characteristic excitation of a metal is its plasmon, which is a quantized collective oscillation of its electron density. In 1956, David Pines predicted that a distinct type of plasmon, dubbed a ‘demon’, could exist in three-dimensional (3D) metals containing more than one species of charge carrier1. Consisting of out-of-phase movement of electrons in different bands, demons are acoustic, electrically neutral and do not couple to light, so have never been detected in an equilibrium, 3D metal. Nevertheless, demons are believed to be critical for diverse phenomena including phase transitions in mixed-valence semimetals2, optical properties of metal nanoparticles3, soundarons in Weyl semimetals4and high-temperature superconductivity in, for example, metal hydrides3,5–7. Here, we present evidence for a demon in Sr2RuO4from momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy. Formed of electrons in theβandγbands, the demon is gapless with critical momentumqc = 0.08 reciprocal lattice units and room-temperature velocityv = (1.065 ± 0.12) × 105m s−1that undergoes a 31% renormalization upon cooling to 30 K because of coupling to the particle–hole continuum. The momentum dependence of the intensity of the demon confirms its neutral character. Our study confirms a 67-year old prediction and indicates that demons may be a pervasive feature of multiband metals.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 7, 2024
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  4. Charge density waves (CDWs) have been observed in nearly all families of copper-oxide superconductors. But the behavior of these phases across different families has been perplexing. In La-based cuprates, the CDW wavevector is an increasing function of doping, exhibiting the so-called Yamada behavior, while in Y- and Bi-based materials the behavior is the opposite. Here, we report a combined resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSXS) and neutron scattering study of charge and spin density waves in isotopically enriched La 1.8 − x Eu 0.2 Sr x CuO 4 over a range of doping 0.07 ≤ x ≤ 0.20 . We find that the CDW amplitude is temperature independent and develops well above experimentally accessible temperatures. Further, the CDW wavevector shows a nonmonotonic temperature dependence, exhibiting Yamada behavior at low temperature with a sudden change occurring near the spin ordering temperature. We describe these observations using a Landau–Ginzburg theory for an incommensurate CDW in a metallic system with a finite charge compressibility and spin-CDW coupling. Extrapolating to high temperature, where the CDW amplitude is small and spin order is absent, our analysis predicts a decreasing wavevector with doping, similar to Y and Bi cuprates. Our study suggests that CDW order in all families of cuprates forms by a common mechanism. 
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