University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Rafael Fernandes

Associate Professor

TATEH 130-23 (office), 612-625-9283
rfernand @ • vitae


Before joining the University of Minnesota, I was a postdoc in Ames Laboratory and a joint postdoc in Columbia University/Los Alamos National Lab. I did my PhD at the State University of Campinas, in Brazil.

DOE Early Career (2014 - Present)
NSF MRSEC (2014 - Present)
Research Corporation for Science Advancement (2016 - Present)
DOE Center for Quantum Materials (2017 - Present)

McKnight Land-Grant Professorship (2015 - 2017)
Cottrell Scholar Award (2016 - Present)
George Taylor Award (2017)
McKnight Presidential Fellow (2017 - Present)

Summary of Interests
Strongly correlated electron systems. Unconventional superconductivity. Competing phases and emergent order. Disorder effects in quantum phase transitions. [Research Web Page]

About My Work

My main research activities are in theoretical condensed matter physics, particularly in strongly correlated electronic many-body systems. I am interested in clean and disordered systems in which the collective behavior of the electrons gives rise to ordered states that break different symmetries of the system, such as superconductivity, magnetism, nematic ordering, and orbital ordering. My aim is to understand not only the impact of these individual phases on the electronic structure and macroscopic properties of the system, but also how they interact with each other. To achieve this goal, I rely not only on the theoretical methods from quantum statistical mechanics and many-body theory, but also on the invaluable empirical information obtained from a variety of experimental techniques, such as x-ray diffraction, neutron scattering, optical spectroscopy, thermodynamic measurements, and angle-resolved photo-emission spectroscopy. Here are some of the topics I have been working on:

  • Unconventional superconductivity (iron pnictides, cuprates, and heavy fermions)
  • Electronic liquid-crystalline phases (nematics, smectics)
  • Transport in strongly correlated systems
  • Quantum criticality in disordered systems
  • Phase diagram of doped graphene
  • Finite temperature Mott transition

Advisees and Collaborators

Maria Navarro Gastiasoro (postdoc, 2017-present)
Morten Christensen (postdoc, 2017-present)
Tianbai Cui (graduate student, 2014-present)
Ezra Day-Roberts (graduate student, 2015-present)

Jian Kang (postdoc, 2013-2017)
Michael Schuett (postdoc, 2014-2017)
Peter Orth (postdoc, 2015-2016)
Xiaoyu Wang (graduate student, 2012-2017)

Selected Publications

An updated list of my publications can be found at arxiv, arXiv,

or in my researcher ID webpage, Researcher ID,

X. Wang, Y. Schattner, E. Berg, and R. M. Fernandes, Superconductivity mediated by quantum critical antiferromagnetic fluctuations: the rise and fall of hot spots, Phys. Rev. B 95, 174520 (2017)

P. P. Orth, R. M. Fernandes, J. Walter, C. Leighton, and B. I. Shklovskii, Percolation via combined electrostatic and chemical doping in complex oxide films, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 106801 (2017).

J. Kang and R. M. Fernandes, Superconductivity in FeSe thin films driven by the interplay between nematic fluctuations and spin-orbit coupling, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 217003 (2016).

J. M. Allred, K. M. Taddei, D. E. Bugaris, M. J. Krogstad, S. H. Lapidus, D. Y. Chung, H. Claus, M. G. Kanatzidis, D. E. Brown, J. Kang, R. M. Fernandes, I. Eremin, S. Rosenkranz, O. Chmaissem, and R. Osborn, Double-Q spin-density wave in iron arsenide superconductors, Nature Phys. 12, 493 (2016)

J. K. Glasbrenner, I. I. Mazin, Harald O. Jeschke, P. J. Hirschfeld, R. M. Fernandes, and R. Valenti, Effect of magnetic frustration on nematicity and superconductivity in iron chalcogenides, Nature Phys. 11, 953 (2015)

X. Wang, J. Kang, and R. M. Fernandes, Magnetic order without tetragonal-symmetry-breaking in iron arsenides: microscopic mechanism and spin-wave spectrum, Phys. Rev. B 91, 024401 (2015)

M. Schuett and R. M. Fernandes, Antagonistic in-plane resistivity anisotropies from competing fluctuations in underdoped cuprates, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 027005 (2015)

J. Kang, A. F. Kemper, and R. M. Fernandes, Manipulation of gap nodes by uniaxial strain in iron-based superconductor, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113,217001 (2014)

R. M. Fernandes, A. V. Chubukov, and J. Schmalian, What drives nematic order in iron-based superconductors?, Nature Phys. 10, 97 (2014)

E. P. Rosenthal, E. F. Andrade, C. J. Arguello, R. M. Fernandes, L. Y. Xing, X. C. Wang, C. Q. Jin, A. J. Millis, and A. N. Pasupathy, Visualization of electron nematicity and unidirectional antiferroic fluctuations at high temperatures in NaFeAs, Nature Phys. 10, 225 (2014)

Y. Gallais, R. M. Fernandes, I. Paul, L. Chauviere, Y.-X. Yang, M.-A. Measson, M. Cazayous, A. Sacuto, D. Colson, and A. Forget, Observation of incipient charge nematicity in Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 267001 (2013)

R. M. Fernandes, A. E. Böhmer, C. Meingast, and J. Schmalian, Scaling between magnetic and lattice fluctuations in iron-pnictide superconductors, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 137001 (2013)

R. M. Fernandes and A. J. Millis, Nematicity as a probe of superconducting pairing in iron-based superconductors, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 127001 (2013)

E. C. Blomberg, M. A. Tanatar, R. M. Fernandes, I. I. Mazin, B. Shen, H.-H. Wen, M. D. Johannes, J. Schmalian, and R. Prozorov, Sign-reversal of the in-plane resistivity anisotropy in hole-doped iron pnictides, Nature Communications 4, 1914 (2013)

R. M. Fernandes, A. V. Chubukov, J. Knolle, I. Eremin, and J. Schmalian, Preemptive nematic order, pseudogap, and orbital order in the iron pnictides, Phys. Rev. B 85, 024534 (2012).

R. M. Fernandes, E. Abrahams, and J. Schmalian, Anisotropic in-plane resistivity in the nematic phase of the iron pnictides, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 217002 (2011)

R. M. Fernandes, L. H. VanBebber, S. Bhattacharya, P. Chandra, V. Keppens, D. Mandrus, M. A. McGuire, B. C. Sales, A. S. Sefat, and J. Schmalian, Effects of nematic fluctuations on the elastic properties of iron arsenide superconductors, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 157003 (2010)

R. M. Fernandes, D. K. Pratt, W. Tian, J. Zarestky, A. Kreyssig, S. Nandi, M. G. Kim, A. Thaler, N. Ni, P. C. Canfield, R. J. McQueeney, J. Schmalian, and A. I. Goldman, Unconventional pairing in the iron arsenide superconductors, Phys. Rev. B 81, 140501(R) (2010)

S. Papanikolaou, R. M. Fernandes, E. Fradkin, P. W. Phillips, J. Schmalian and R. Sknepnek, Universality of Liquid-Gas Mott Transitions at Finite Temperatures, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 026408 (2008).


B.S., State University of Campinas (Brazil), 2003
PhD Physics, State University of Campinas (Brazil), 2008