Volume-wise destruction of the antiferromagnetic Mott insulating state through quantum tuning Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • RENiO3 (RE=rare-earth element) and V2O3 are archetypal Mott insulator systems. When tuned by chemical substitution (RENiO3) or pressure (V2O3), they exhibit a quantum phase transition (QPT) between an antiferromagnetic Mott insulating state and a paramagnetic metallic state. Because novel physics often appears near a Mott QPT, the details of this transition, such as whether it is first or second order, are important. Here, we demonstrate through muon spin relaxation/rotation (μSR) experiments that the QPT in RENiO3 and V2O3 is first order: the magnetically ordered volume fraction decreases to zero at the QPT, resulting in a broad region of intrinsic phase separation, while the ordered magnetic moment retains its full value until it is suddenly destroyed at the QPT. These findings bring to light a surprising universality of the pressure-driven Mott transition, revealing the importance of phase separation and calling for further investigation into the nature of quantum fluctuations underlying the transition.

authors

  • Frandsen, Benjamin A
  • Liu, Lian
  • Cheung, Sky C
  • Guguchia, Zurab
  • Khasanov, Rustem
  • Morenzoni, Elvezio
  • Munsie, Timothy JS
  • Hallas, Alannah M
  • Wilson, Murray N
  • Cai, Yipeng
  • Luke, Graeme
  • Chen, Bijuan
  • Li, Wenmin
  • Jin, Changqing
  • Ding, Cui
  • Guo, Shengli
  • Ning, Fanlong
  • Ito, Takashi U
  • Higemoto, Wataru
  • Billinge, Simon JL
  • Sakamoto, Shoya
  • Fujimori, Atsushi
  • Murakami, Taito
  • Kageyama, Hiroshi
  • Alonso, Jose Antonio
  • Kotliar, Gabriel
  • Imada, Masatoshi
  • Uemura, Yasutomo J

publication date

  • November 2016