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Direct observation of many-body charge density oscillations in a two-dimensional electron gas

AuthorsSessi, Paolo; Silkin, Viatcheslav M.; Nechaev, I. A.; Bathon, Thomas; El-Kareh, Lydia; Chulkov, Eugene V. CSIC ORCID; Echenique, Pedro M. CSIC; Bode, Matthias
Issue Date2015
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Communications 6: 8691 (2015)
AbstractQuantum interference is a striking manifestation of one of the basic concepts of quantum mechanics: the particle-wave duality. A spectacular visualization of this effect is the standing wave pattern produced by elastic scattering of surface electrons around defects, which corresponds to a modulation of the electronic local density of states and can be imaged using a scanning tunnelling microscope. To date, quantum-interference measurements were mainly interpreted in terms of interfering electrons or holes of the underlying band-structure description. Here, by imaging energy-dependent standing-wave patterns at noble metal surfaces, we reveal, in addition to the conventional surface-state band, the existence of an anomalous energy band with a well-defined dispersion. Its origin is explained by the presence of a satellite in the structure of the many-body spectral function, which is related to the acoustic surface plasmon. Visualizing the corresponding charge oscillations provides thus direct access to many-body interactions at the atomic scale.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/ncomms9691
e-issn: 2041-1723
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