Thermoelectric transport in disordered metals without quasiparticles: The Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev models and holography

Richard A. Davison, Wenbo Fu, Antoine Georges, Yingfei Gu, Kristan Jensen, Subir Sachdev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

295 Citations (Scopus)


We compute the thermodynamic properties of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) models of fermions with a conserved fermion number Q. We extend a previously proposed Schwarzian effective action to include a phase field, and this describes the low-temperature energy and Q fluctuations. We obtain higher-dimensional generalizations of the SYK models which display disordered metallic states without quasiparticle excitations, and we deduce their thermoelectric transport coefficients. We also examine the corresponding properties of Einstein-Maxwell-axion theories on black brane geometries which interpolate from either AdS4 or AdS5 to an AdS2×R2 or AdS2×R3 near-horizon geometry. These provide holographic descriptions of nonquasiparticle metallic states without momentum conservation. We find a precise match between low-temperature transport and thermodynamics of the SYK and holographic models. In both models, the Seebeck transport coefficient is exactly equal to the Q derivative of the entropy. For the SYK models, quantum chaos, as characterized by the butterfly velocity and the Lyapunov rate, universally determines the thermal diffusivity, but not the charge diffusivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155131
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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