Third-order optical conductivity of an electron fluid
Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Third-order optical conductivity of an electron fluid


We derive the nonlinear optical conductivity of an isotropic electron fluid at frequencies below the interparticle collision rate. In this regime, governed by hydrodynamics, the conductivity acquires a universal form at any temperature, chemical potential, and spatial dimension. We show that the nonlinear response of the fluid to a uniform field is dominated by the third-order conductivity tensor $\sigma^{(3)}$ whose magnitude and temperature dependence differ qualitatively from those in the conventional kinetic regime of higher frequencies. We obtain explicit formulas for $\sigma^{(3)}$ for Dirac materials such as graphene and Weyl semimetals. We make predictions for the third-harmonic generation, renormalization of the collective-mode spectrum, and the third-order circular magnetic birefringence experiments.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View