Physics Colloquium - Ben Feldman, Stanford University

11/14/2019 3:30 pm
110 Physical Sciences


Visualizing nematic electron wave functions on the surface of bismuth


Dr. Benjamin Feldman
Department of Physics
Geballe Lab for Advanced Materials
Stanford University


Bio: I am interested in emergent electronic behavior such as correlated phases and topological phenomena in reduced dimensional systems. During my PhD, I studied interaction-driven states in graphene in the lab of Amir Yacoby at Harvard. Over the course of my postdoctoral work with Ali Yazdani at Princeton, I investigated a variety of novel quantum systems at the atomic scale using scanning tunneling microscopy. I started as an assistant professor in the physics department at Stanford in 2018.


Title: Visualizing nematic electron wave functions on the surface of bismuth

Abstract: The wave functions of electronic states in solids typically respect the symmetries of the host material. However, interactions among electrons can give rise to more exotic ordered ground states. An intriguing example is the formation of nematic electron fluids, whose wave functions spontaneously break the rotational symmetry of the underlying crystal lattice. In this talk, I will describe scanning tunneling microscope measurements of nematic order in bismuth surface states at high magnetic field. Spectroscopy reveals the emergence of broken symmetry quantum Hall states, and by imaging the corresponding anisotropic wave functions, we are able to directly visualize local nematic domains in this material.