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Insights from scanning tunneling microscopy experiments into correlated electron systems

This thesis presents insights from our study of various correlated electron systems with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). In ordinary metals, electron-electron interactions exist, but get substantially screened due to the sheer number of electrons.

T. Benschop
26 september 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

We therefore describe electrons in ordinary metals as a gaseous state of free, or weakly interacting charged particles. This adequately explains their properties, however, this picture does not work for correlated electron materials. The prominent electron-electron interactions present in these materials enable a wide range of exotic electronic phenomena, some of which are presented in this work. In chapter 2, we present STM results measured on an overdoped copper oxide compound and show that the superconducting state that occurs in these materials cannot be described by conventional BCS theory, contrary to what is commonly believed. In chapter 3, we study twisted bilayer graphene devices, and quantify their local twist angle and strain on the nanoscale. In chapter 4, we describe how to build and characterize the hardware needed to do noise spectroscopy measurements in a conventional, low temperature STM setup. Finally, in chapter 5, we present our noise spectroscopy measurements on Sr2IrO4, and explain how random telegraph noise could lead to the observed noise enhancements.

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