Electronic nematicity and its relation to quantum criticality in Sr3Ru2O7 studied by thermal expansion

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Abstract

We report high-resolution measurements of the in-plane thermal expansion anisotropy in the vicinity of the electronic nematic phase in Sr3Ru2O7 down to very low temperatures and in varying magnetic field orientation. For fields applied along the c-direction, a clear second-order phase transition is found at the nematic phase, with critical behavior compatible with the two-dimensional Ising universality class (although this is not fully conclusive). Measurements in a slightly tilted magnetic field reveal a broken fourfold in-plane rotational symmetry, not only within the nematic phase, but extending towards slightly larger fields. We also analyze the universal scaling behavior expected for a metamagnetic quantum critical point, which is realized outside the nematic region. The contours of the magnetostriction suggest a relation between quantum criticality and the nematic phase.

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