Crystal-Field Splitting and Correlation Effect on the Electronic Structure of
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The electronic structure of the honeycomb lattice iridates Na(2)IrO(3) and Li(2)IrO(3) has been investigated using resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). Crystal-field-split d-d excitations are resolved in the high-resolution RIXS spectra. In particular, the splitting due to noncubic crystal fields, derived from the splitting of j(eff)=3/2 states, is much smaller than the typical spin-orbit energy scale in iridates, validating the applicability of j(eff) physics in A(2)IrO(3). We also find excitonic enhancement of the particle-hole excitation gap around 0.4 eV, indicating that the nearest-neighbor Coulomb interaction could be large. These findings suggest that both Na(2)IrO(3) and Li(2)IrO(3) can be described as spin-orbit Mott insulators, similar to the square lattice iridate Sr(2)IrO(4).
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