Fluctuation-driven phase reconstruction at itinerant ferromagnetic quantum critical points
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The formation of new phases close to itinerant electron quantum critical points has been observed experimentally in many compounds. We present a unified analytical model that explains the emergence of new types of phases around itinerant ferromagnetic quantum critical points. The central idea of our analysis is that certain deformations of the Fermi surface enhance the phase-space available for low-energy quantum fluctuations and so self-consistently lower the free energy. Using this quantum order-by-disorder mechanism, we find instabilities towards the formation of a spiral ferromagnet and spin-nematic phase close to an itinerant ferromagnetic quantum critical point. Further, we employ the quantum order-by-disorder mechanism to describe the partially ordered phase of MnSi. Using the simplest model of a Stoner-like helimagnetic transition, we show that quantum fluctuations naturally lead to the formation of an unusual phase near to the putative quantum critical point that shares many of the observed features of the partially ordered phase in MnSi. In particular, we predict an angular dependence of neutron scattering that is in good agreement with neutron-scattering data.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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