In the presence of multiple bands, well-known electronic instabilities may acquire new complexity. While multiband superconductivity is the subject of extensive studies, the possibility of multiband charge density waves (CDWs) has been largely ignored so far. Here, combining energy dependent scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) topography with a simple model of the charge modulations and a self-consistent calculation of the CDW gap, we find evidence for a multiband CDW in 2H-NbSe2. This CDW not only involves the opening of a gap on the inner band around the K-point, but also on the outer band. This leads to spatially out-of-phase charge modulations from electrons on these two bands, which we detect through a characteristic energy dependence of the CDW contrast in STM images.
See the News and Views published in Nature Physics.