Direct observation of single-electron solitons and Friedel oscillations in a quasi-one dimensional material with incommensurate charge-density waves

Christophe Brun 1 Serguei Brazovskii 2 Zhao-Zhong Wang 3 Pierre Monceau 4

Physica B: Condensed Matter, Elsevier, 2015, 460 (SI), pp.88-92. <10.1016/j.physb.2014.11.046>

We have performed scanning tunneling microscopy experiments in the quasi-one dimensional charge density wave (CDW) system NbSe3, where we could image and study in detail individual solitons corresponding to the self-trapping of a single electron. Our analysis shows that the type of soliton we observed is an « Amplitude Soliton », characterized by a vanishing CDW amplitude at the soliton center and by a pi-shift of its phase along the chain direction. Pairs of solitons or multiple solitons were also observed. Such observations could be made only in the high-temperature COW phase. Additionally, one-dimensional Friedel oscillations around charged defects could also be imaged and are found to be superimposed to the COW. The distinction between amplitude solitons and Friedel oscillations can be made without any ambiguity. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 1. INSP – Institut des Nanosciences de Paris
  • 2. LPTMS – Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 3. LPN – Laboratoire de photonique et de nanostructures
  • 4. MagSup
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