Direct observation of many-body charge density oscillations in a two-dimensional electron gas

Paolo Sessi, Vyacheslav M. Silkin, Ilya A. Nechaev, Thomas Bathon, Lydia El-Kareh, Evgueni V. Chulkov, Pedro M. Echenique, Matthias Bode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum interference is a striking manifestation of one of the basic concepts of quantum mechanics: the particle-wave duality. A spectacular visualization of this effect is the standing wave pattern produced by elastic scattering of surface electrons around defects, which corresponds to a modulation of the electronic local density of states and can be imaged using a scanning tunnelling microscope. To date, quantum-interference measurements were mainly interpreted in terms of interfering electrons or holes of the underlying band-structure description. Here, by imaging energy-dependent standing-wave patterns at noble metal surfaces, we reveal, in addition to the conventional surface-state band, the existence of an anomalous energy band with a well-defined dispersion. Its origin is explained by the presence of a satellite in the structure of the many-body spectral function, which is related to the acoustic surface plasmon. Visualizing the corresponding charge oscillations provides thus direct access to many-body interactions at the atomic scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8691
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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