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Journal Article

Hydrodynamics of plastic deformations in electronic crystals


Lier,  Ruben
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Armas, J., van Heumen, E., Jain, A., & Lier, R. (2023). Hydrodynamics of plastic deformations in electronic crystals. Physical Review B, 107(15): 155108. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.107.155108.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-80B3-7
We construct a hydrodynamic framework describing plastic deformations in electronic crystals. The frame-work accounts for pinning, phase, and momentum relaxation effects due to translational disorder, diffusion due to the presence of interstitials and vacancies, and strain relaxation due to plasticity and dislocations. We obtain the hydrodynamic mode spectrum and correlation functions in various regimes in order to identify the signatures of plasticity in electronic crystal phases. In particular, we show that proliferation of dislocations depins the spatially resolved conductivity until the crystal melts, after which point a new phase of a pinned electronic liquid emerges. In addition, the mode spectrum exhibits a competition between pinning and plasticity effects, with the damping rate of some modes being controlled by pinning-induced phase relaxation and some by plasticity-induced strain relaxation. We find that the recently discovered damping-attenuation relation continues to hold for pinned-induced phase relaxation even in the presence of plasticity and dislocations. We also comment on various experimental setups that could probe the effects of plasticity. The framework developed here is applicable to a large class of physical systems including electronic Wigner crystals, multicomponent charge density waves, and ordinary crystals.