Abstract:
We develop a framework for understanding the difference between strong and fragile behavior in the dynamics of glass-forming liquids from the properties of the potential energy landscape. Our approach is based on a master equation description of the activated jump dynamics among the local minima of the potential energy (the so-called inherent structures) that characterize the potential energy landscape of the system. We study the dynamics of a small atomic cluster using this description as well as molecular dynamics simulations and demonstrate the usefulness of our approach for this system. Many of the remarkable features of the complex dynamics of glassy systems emerge from the activated dynamics in the potential energy landscape of the atomic cluster. The dynamics of the system exhibits typical characteristics of a strong supercooled liquid when the system is allowed to explore the full configuration space. This behavior arises because the dynamics is dominated by a few lowest-lying minima of the potential energy and the potential energy barriers between these minima. When the system is constrained to explore only a limited region of the potential energy landscape that excludes the basins of attraction of a few lowest-lying minima, the dynamics is found to exhibit the characteristics of a fragile liquid.

Abstract:
We investigate the effect of coupling Anderson localized particles in one dimension to a system of marginally localized phonons having a symmetry protected delocalized mode at zero frequency. This situation is naturally realized for electrons coupled to phonons in a disordered nano-wire as well as for ultra-cold fermions coupled to phonons of a superfluid in a one dimensional disordered trap. To determine if the coupled system can be many-body localized we analyze the phonon-mediated hopping transport for both the weak and strong coupling regimes. We show that the usual variable-range hopping mechanism involving a low-order phonon processes is ineffective at low temperature due to discreteness of the bath at the required energy. Instead, the system thermalizes through a many-body process involving exchange of a diverging number $n\propto -\log T$ of phonons in the low temperature limit. This effect leads to a highly singular prefactor to Mott's well known formula and strongly suppresses the variable range hopping rate. Finally we comment on possible implications of this physics in higher dimensional electron-phonon coupled systems.

Abstract:
We propose a phenomenological Ginzburg-Landau-like theory of cuprate superconductivity. The free energy is expressed as a functional F of the spin-singlet pair amplitude psi_ij=psi_m=Delta_m exp(i phi_m); i and j are nearest-neighbor sites of the Cu lattice in which the superconductivity is believed to primarily reside and m labels the site at the center of the bond between i and j. The system is modeled as a weakly coupled stack of such planes. We hypothesize a simple form, F[Delta,phi]=sum_m (A Delta_m^2+ B Delta_m^4/2)+C sum_ Delta_m Delta_n cos(phi_m-phi_n), for the functional. The coefficients A, B and C are determined from comparison with experiments. We work out a number of consequences of the proposed functional for specific choices of A, B and C as functions of hole density x and temperature T. There can be a rapid crossover of from small to large values as A changes sign on lowering T and the crossover temperatures is identified with the observed pseudogap temperature. The superconducting phase-coherence transition occurs at a different temperature T_c, and describes superconductivity with d-wave symmetry for C>0. We calculate T_c(x) which has the observed parabolic shape, being strongly influenced by the coupling between Delta_m and phi_m present in F. The superfluid density, the local gap magnitude, the specific heat (with and without a magnetic field) and vortex properties are obtained using F. We compare our results successfully with experiments. We also obtain the electron spectral density as influenced by the coupling between the electrons and the pair correlation function calculated from F. Features such as temperature dependent Fermi arcs, antinodal pseudogap filling temperature, pseudogapped density of states in different momentum regions of the Fermi surface and `bending' of the energy gap versus momentum on the Fermi surface emerge from the theory.

Abstract:
The electronic properties of the polar interface between insulating oxides is a subject of great current interest. An exciting new development is the observation of robust magnetism at the interface of two non-magnetic materials LaAlO_3 (LAO) and SrTiO_3 (STO). Here we present a microscopic theory for the formation and interaction of local moments, which depends on essential features of the LAO/STO interface. We show that correlation-induced moments arise due to interfacial splitting of orbital degeneracy. We find that gate-tunable Rashba spin-orbit coupling at the interface influences the exchange interaction mediated by conduction electrons. We predict that the zero-field ground state is a long-wavelength spiral and show that its evolution in an external field accounts semi-quantitatively for torque magnetometry data. Our theory describes qualitative aspects of the scanning SQUID measurements and makes several testable predictions for future experiments.

Abstract:
We describe here a minimal theory of tight binding electrons moving on the square planar Cu lattice of the hole-doped cuprates and mixed quantum mechanically with pairs of them (Cooper pairs). Superconductivity occurring at the transition temperature T_c is the long-range, d-wave symmetry phase coherence of these Cooper pairs. Fluctuations necessarily associated with incipient long-range superconducting order have a generic large distance behaviour near T_c. We calculate the spectral density of electrons coupled to such Cooper pair fluctuations and show that features observed in Angle Resolved Photo Emission Spectroscopy (ARPES) experiments on different cuprates above T_c as a function of doping and temperature emerge naturally in this description. These include `Fermi arcs' with temperature-dependent length and an antinodal pseudogap which fills up linearly as the temperature increases towards the pseudogap temperature. Our results agree quantitatively with experiment. Below T_c, the effects of nonzero superfluid density and thermal fluctuations are calculated and compared successfully with some recent ARPES experiments, especially the observed `bending' or deviation of the superconducting gap from the canonical d-wave form.

Abstract:
Skyrmions are topological spin textures of interest for fundamental science and applications. Previous theoretical studies have focused on systems with broken bulk inversion symmetry, where skyrmions are stabilized by easy-axis anisotropy. We investigate here systems that break surface inversion symmetry, in addition to possible broken bulk inversion. This leads to two distinct Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) terms with strengths $D_\perp$, arising from Rashba spin-orbit coupling (SOC), and $D_\parallel$ from Dresselhaus SOC. We show that skyrmions become progressively more stable with increasing $D_\perp/D_\parallel$, extending into the regime of easy-plane anisotropy. We find that the spin texture and topological charge density of skyrmions develops nontrivial spatial structure, with quantized topological charge in a unit cell given by a Chern number. Our results give a design principle for tuning Rashba SOC and magnetic anisotropy to stabilize skyrmions in thin films, surfaces, interfaces and bulk magnetic materials that break mirror symmetry.

Abstract:
The observation of quantum oscillations in underdoped cuprates has generated intense debate about the nature of the field-induced resistive state and its implications for the `normal state' of high T_c superconductors. Quantum oscillations suggest an underlying Fermi liquid state at high magnetic fields H and low temperatures, in contrast with the high-temperature, zero-field pseudogap state seen in spectroscopy. Recent heat capacity measurements show quantum oscillations together with a large and singular field-dependent suppression of the electronic density of states (DOS), which suggests a resistive state that is affected by the d-wave superconducting gap. We present a theoretical analysis of the electronic excitations in a vortex-liquid state, with short range pairing correlations in space and time, that is able to reconcile these seemingly contradictory observations. We show that phase fluctuations lead to large suppression of the DOS that goes like $\sqrt{H}$ at low fields, in addition to quantum oscillations with a period determined by a Fermi surface reconstructed by a competing order parameter.

Abstract:
Emergent phases in the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) formed at the interface between two insulating oxides have attracted great attention in the past decade. We present ab-initio electronic structure calculations for the interface between a Mott insulator GdTiO$_3$ (GTO) and a band insulator SrTiO$_3$ (STO) and compare our results with those for the widely studied LaAlO$_3$/SrTiO$_3$ (LAO/STO) interface between two band insulators. Our GTO/STO results are in excellent agreement with experiments, but qualitatively different from LAO/STO. We find an interface carrier density of 0.5$e^{-}$/Ti, independent of GTO thickness in both superlattice and thin film geometries, in contrast to LAO/STO. The superlattice geometry in LAO/STO offers qualitatively the same result as in GTO/STO. On the other hand, for a thin film geometry, the interface carrier density builds up only beyond a threshold thickness of LAO. The positive charge at the vacuum surface that compensates the 2DEG at the interface also exhibits distinct behaviors in the two systems. The top GTO layer is found to be insulating due to correlation-driven charge disproportionation, while the top LAO layer is metallic within band theory and may become insulating due to surface disorder or surface reconstruction.

Abstract:
Using a recently proposed Ginzburg-Landau-like lattice free energy functional due to Banerjee et al. Phys. Rev. B 83, 024510 (2011) we calculate the fluctuation diamagnetism of high-Tc superconductors as a function of doping, magnetic field and temperature. We analyse the pairing fluctuations above the superconducting transition temperature in the cuprates, ranging from the strong phase fluctuation dominated underdoped limit to the more conventional amplitude fluctuation dominated overdoped regime. We show that a model where the pairing scale increases and the superfluid density decreases with underdoping produces features of the observed magnetization in the pseudogap region, in good qualitative and reasonable quantitative agreement with the experimental data. In particular, we explicitly show that even when the pseudogap has a pairing origin the magnetization actually tracks the superconducting dome instead of the pseudogap temperature, as seen in experiment. We discuss the doping dependence of the `onset' temperature for fluctuation diamagnetism and comment on the role of vortex core-energy in our model.

Abstract:
Recent developments have led to an explosion of activity on skyrmions in three-dimensional (3D) chiral magnets. Experiments have directly probed these topological spin textures, revealed their nontrivial properties, and led to suggestions for novel applications. However, in 3D the skyrmion crystal phase is observed only in a narrow region of the temperature-field phase diagram. We show here, using a general analysis based on symmetry, that skyrmions are much more readily stabilized in two-dimensional (2D) systems with Rashba spin-orbit coupling. This enhanced stability arises from the competition between field and easy-plane magnetic anisotropy and results in a nontrivial structure in the topological charge density in the core of the skyrmions. We further show that, in a variety of microscopic models for magnetic exchange, the required easy-plane anisotropy naturally arises from the same spin-orbit coupling that is responsible for the chiral Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions. Our results are of particular interest for 2D materials like thin films, surfaces, and oxide interfaces, where broken surface-inversion symmetry and Rashba spin-orbit coupling naturally lead to chiral exchange and easy-plane compass anisotropy. Our theory gives a clear direction for experimental studies of 2D magnetic materials to stabilize skyrmions over a large range of magnetic fields down to T=0.