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Direct observation of electron density reconstruction at the metal-insulator transition in NaOs O 3

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.98.115116 DOI Help

Authors: N. Gurung (ETH Zurich; Paul Scherrer Institute) , N. Leo (ETH Zurich; Paul Scherrer Institute) , S. P. Collins (Diamond Light Source) , G. Nisbet (Diamond Light Source) , G. Smolentsev (Paul Scherrer Institute) , M. Garcia-fernandez (Diamond Light Source) , K. Yamaura (National Institute for Materials Science) , L. J. Heyderman (ETH Zurich; Paul Scherrer Institute) , U. Staub (Paul Scherrer Institute) , Y. Joly (Université Grenoble Alpes) , D. D. Khalyavin (ISIS Facility) , S. W. Lovesey (Diamond Light Source; ISIS Facility) , V. Scagnoli (Paul Scherrer Institut)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 98

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12459 , 14853

Abstract: The 5d transition-metal oxides offer further opportunities to test our understanding of the interplay of correlation effects and spin-orbit interactions in materials in the absence of a single dominant interaction. The subtle balance between solid-state interactions can result in mechanisms that minimize the interaction energy, and in material properties of potential use for applications. We focus here on the 5d transition-metal oxide NaOsO3, a strong candidate for the realization of a magnetically driven transition from a metallic to an insulating state exploiting the so-called Slater mechanism. Experimental results are derived from nonresonant and resonant x-ray single-crystal diffraction at the Os L edges. A change in the crystallographic symmetry does not accompany the metal-insulator transition in the Slater mechanism and, indeed, we find no evidence of such a change in NaOsO3. An equally important experimental observation is the emergence of the (300) Bragg peak in the resonant condition with the onset of magnetic order. The intensity of this space-group-forbidden Bragg peak continuously increases with decreasing temperature in line with the square of intensity observed for an allowed magnetic Bragg peak. Our main experimental results, the absence of crystal symmetry breaking, and the emergence of a space-group-forbidden Bragg peak with developing magnetic order, support the use of the Slater mechanism to interpret the metal-insulator transition in NaOsO3. We successfully describe our experimental results with simulations of the electronic structure and with an atomic model based on the established symmetry of the crystal and magnetic structure.

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials


Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism

Other Facilities: ESRF; Swiss Light Source