Research Highlights

Restructuring of the Fermi surface near quantum critical point in Cr-V alloy

The weakness of electron-electron correlations in the itinerant antiferromagnet Cr doped with V has long been considered the reason that neither new collective electronic states nor even non-Fermi-liquid behavior are observed when antiferromagnetism in Cr1-xVx is suppressed to zero temperature. We present the results of neutron and electron diffraction measurements of several lightly doped single crystals of Cr1-xVx in which the archetypal spin density wave instability is progressively suppressed as the V content increases, freeing the nesting-prone Fermi surface for a new striped charge instability that occurs at xc = 0.037. This novel nesting driven instability relieves the entropy accumulation associated with the suppression of the spin density wave and avoids the formation of a quantum critical point by stabilizing a new type of charge order at temperatures in excess of 400 K. Restructuring of the Fermi surface near quantum critical points is a feature found in materials as diverse as heavy fermions, high-temperature copper oxide superconductors and now even elemental metals such as Cr.