Published in:

Physical Review Letters 96,9 (2006) 097003;


An electron nematic is a translationally invariant state which spontaneously breaks the discrete rotational symmetry of a host crystal. In a clean square lattice, the electron nematic has two preferred orientations, while dopant disorder favors one or the other orientations locally. In this way, the electron nematic in a host crystal maps to the random field Ising model. Since the electron nematic has anisotropic conductivity, we associate each Ising configuration with a resistor network and use what is known about the random field Ising model to predict new ways to test for local electronic nematic order (nematicity) using noise and hysteresis. In particular, we have uncovered a remarkably robust linear relation between the orientational order and the resistance anisotropy which holds over a wide range of circumstances.


liquid-crystal phases;; instability;; symmetry;; systems

Date of this Version

January 2006



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