Single crystals of URu2Si2 show below 17.5 K a transition into an ordered state with a significantly reduced entropy. The low temperature phase is called the hidden order (HO) state, because its microscopic origin is still unknown—there are no charge, structural or magnetic transitions associated to HO. Here we report a one-dimensional (1D) charge modulation within the HO state of URu2Si2. We perform detailed Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) experiments with high resolution on many atomically flat surfaces of URu2Si2 obtained by fracturing single crystals at cryogenic temperatures and find a 1D charge density wave with a large wavevector. We show that the 1D modulation is connected to the dynamical magnetic excitations of the HO through a moiré construction and appears as a consequence of excitations quenched through the interaction between the travelling fracture front and the dynamic modes of the crystal. The combination of fracture dynamics and the dynamics of the solid provides a method to create ground states and shows that charge interactions are among the most relevant features competing with HO in URu2Si2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)