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On the separation of Hall and Ohmic nonlinear responses

Stepan S. Tsirkin, Ivo Souza

SciPost Phys. Core 5, 039 (2022) · published 8 August 2022


The symmetric and antisymmetric parts of the linear conductivity describe the dissipative (Ohmic) and nondissipative (Hall) parts of the current. The Hall current is always transverse to the applied electric field regardless of its orientation; the Ohmic current is purely longitudinal in cubic crystals, but in lower-symmetry crystals it has a transverse component whenever the field is not aligned with a principal axis. In this work, we extend that analysis beyond the linear regime. We consider all possible ways of partitioning the current at any order in the electric field without taking symmetry into account, and find that the Hall vs Ohmic decomposition is the only one that satisfies certain basic requirements. A general prescription is given for achieving that decomposition, and the case of the quadratic conductivity is analyzed in detail. By performing a symmetry analysis we find that in five of the 122 magnetic point groups the quadratic dc conductivity is purely Ohmic and even under time reversal, a type of response that is entirely disorder mediated.

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