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Topological quantum phase transition of nickelocene on Cu(100)

Germán G. Blesio, Rok Žitko, Luis O. Manuel, Armando A. Aligia

SciPost Phys. 14, 042 (2023) · published 21 March 2023


Local quantum phase transitions driven by Kondo correlations have been theoretically proposed in several magnetic nanosystems; however, clear experimental signatures are scant. Modeling a nickelocene molecule on a Cu(100) substrate as a two-orbital Anderson impurity with single-ion anisotropy coupled to two conduction bands, we find that recent scanning tunneling spectra reveal the existence of a topological quantum phase transition from the usual local Fermi liquid with high zero-bias conductance to a non-Landau Fermi liquid, characterized by a non-trivial quantized Luttinger integral, with a small conductance. The effects of intermediate valence, finite temperature, and structural relaxation of the molecule position allow us to explain the different observed behaviors.

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