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Linear-in temperature resistivity from an isotropic Planckian scattering rate

Cornell Affiliated Author(s)


Gael Grissonnanche
Yawen Fang
Anaëlle Legros
Simon Verret
Francis Laliberté
C. Collignon
Jianshi Zhou
David Graf
Paul Goddard
Louis Taillefer
B. Ramshaw


A variety of ‘strange metals’ exhibit resistivity that decreases linearly with temperature as the temperature decreases to zero1–3, in contrast to conventional metals where resistivity decreases quadratically with temperature. This linear-in-temperature resistivity has been attributed to charge carriers scattering at a rate given by ħ/τ = αkBT, where α is a constant of order unity, ħ is the Planck constant and kB is the Boltzmann constant. This simple relationship between the scattering rate and temperature is observed across a wide variety of materials, suggesting a fundamental upper limit on scattering—the ‘Planckian limit’4,5—but little is known about the underlying origins of this limit. Here we report a measurement of the angle-dependent magnetoresistance of La1.6−xNd0.4SrxCuO4—a hole-doped cuprate that shows linear-in-temperature resistivity down to the lowest measured temperatures6. The angle-dependent magnetoresistance shows a well defined Fermi surface that agrees quantitatively with angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements7 and reveals a linear-in-temperature scattering rate that saturates at the Planckian limit, namely α = 1.2 ± 0.4. Remarkably, we find that this Planckian scattering rate is isotropic, that is, it is independent of direction, in contrast to expectations from ‘hotspot’ models8,9. Our findings suggest that linear-in-temperature resistivity in strange metals emerges from a momentum-independent inelastic scattering rate that reaches the Planckian limit. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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Group (Lab)

Brad Ramshaw Group

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