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Electron Hydrodynamics in anisotropic materials

Georgios Varnavides⁺, Adam S. Jermyn⁺, Polina Anikeeva, Prineha Narang
Nat Commun 11, 4710 (2020), Publisher’s version

Abstract #

Rotational invariance strongly constrains the viscosity tensor of classical fluids. When this symmetry is broken in anisotropic materials a wide array of novel phenomena become possible. We explore electron fluid behaviors arising from the most general viscosity tensors in two and three dimensions, constrained only thermodynamics and crystal symmetries. We find nontrivial behaviors in both two- and three-dimensional materials, including imprints of the crystal symmetry on the large-scale flow pattern. Breaking time-reversal symmetry introduces a non-dissipative Hall component to the viscosity tensor, and while this vanishes for 3D isotropic systems we show it need not for anisotropic materials. Further, for such systems we find that the electronic fluid stress can couple to the vorticity without breaking time-reversal symmetry. Our work demonstrates the anomalous landscape for electron hydrodynamics in systems beyond graphene, and presents experimental geometries to quantify the effects of electronic viscosity.