Theory of criticality for quantum ferroelectric metals

Avraham Klein, Vladyslav Kozii, Jonathan Ruhman, Rafael M. Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A variety of compounds, for example, doped paraelectrics and polar metals, exhibit both ferroelectricity and correlated electronic phenomena such as low-density superconductivity and anomalous transport. Characterizing such properties is tied to understanding the quantum dynamics of inversion symmetry breaking in the presence of itinerant electrons. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the properties of a metal near a quantum critical transition to a ferroelectric state, in both two and three dimensions. Starting from a minimal model of electrons coupled to a transverse polar phonon via a Rashba-type spin-orbit interaction, we compute the dynamical response of both electrons and phonons. We find that the system can evince both Fermi and non-Fermi liquid phases, as well as enhanced pairing in both singlet and triplet channels. Furthermore, we systematically compute corrections to one-loop theory and find a tendency to quantum order-by-disorder, leading to a phase diagram that can include second-order, first-order, and finite-momentum phase transitions. Finally, we show that the entire phase diagram can be controlled via application of external strain, either compressive or volume-preserving. Our results provide a map of the dynamical and thermodynamical phase space of quantum ferroelectic metals, which can serve in characterizing existing materials and in seeking applications for quantum technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165110
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number16
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Physical Society.


We thank A. V. Chubukov, D. M. Maslov, A. Kumar, P. Volkov, J. Schmalian, M. H. Christensen, M. Feigel'man, A. Kundu, M. Navarro-Gastiasoro, D. Pelc, and D. van der Marel for many helpful discussions. A.K. and J.R. acknowledge support by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), and the Israeli Directorate for Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) under Grant No. 3467/21. V.K. was supported by the Quantum Materials program at LBNL, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. A part of the work by V.K. was performed at Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. PHY-1607611 and by a grant from the Simons Foundation. R.M.F. was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the University of Minnesota Center for Quantum Materials, under Grant No. DE-SC-0016371

FundersFunder number
Israeli Directorate for Defense Research and Development
University of Minnesota Center for Quantum MaterialsDE-SC-0016371
National Science FoundationPHY-1607611
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-AC02-05CH11231
Simons Foundation
Israel Science Foundation


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