Scalable T2 resistivity in a small single-component Fermi surface

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Science  28 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6251, pp. 945-948
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa8655

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Trying to break a stubborn law

The electrical resistivity of most metals at low temperatures has a characteristic quadratic dependence on temperature. This law is typically ascribed to the scattering of electrons off each other in the presence of a crystal lattice. By measuring the resistivity of SrTiO3 with varying dopant concentrations, Lin et al. test the applicability of the law for metals with low carrier densities. The law persists down to the lowest carrier concentrations, into the regime where the conditions for this behavior were previously thought to break down.

Science, this issue p. 945


Scattering among electrons generates a distinct contribution to electrical resistivity that follows a quadratic temperature (T) dependence. In strongly correlated electron systems, the prefactor A of this T2 resistivity scales with the magnitude of the electronic specific heat, γ. Here we show that one can change the magnitude of A by four orders of magnitude in metallic strontium titanate (SrTiO3) by tuning the concentration of the carriers and, consequently, the Fermi energy. The T2 behavior persists in the single-band dilute limit despite the absence of two known mechanisms for T2 behavior: distinct electron reservoirs and Umklapp processes. The results highlight the absence of a microscopic theory for momentum decay through electron-electron scattering in various Fermi liquids.

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