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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Nov 5;93(19):196802. Epub 2004 Nov 2.

Role of spin in quasiparticle interference.

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Institut für Experimentalphysik, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


Quasiparticle interference patterns measured by scanning tunneling microscopy can be used to study the local electronic structure of metal surfaces and high-temperature superconductors. Here, we show that even in nonmagnetic systems the spin of the quasiparticles can have a profound effect on the interference patterns. On Bi(110), where the surface state bands are not spin degenerate, the patterns are not related to the dispersion of the electronic states in a simple way. In fact, the features which are expected for the spin-independent situation are absent and the observed interference patterns can be interpreted only by taking spin-conserving scattering events into account.

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