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Electron-lattice interactions strongly renormalize the charge-transfer energy in the spin-chain cuprate Li2CuO2

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Johnston Steve, Monney Claude, Bisogni Valentina, Zhou Ke-Jin, Kraus Roberto, Behr Günter, Strocov Vladimir N., Málek Jiři, Drechsler Stefan-Ludwig, Geck Jochen, Schmitt Thorsten, van den Brink Jeroen,
Project Coupled spin, charge and orbital dynamics of low-dimensional cuprates
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nature Communications
Volume (Issue) 7
Page(s) 10563 - 10563
Title of proceedings Nature Communications
DOI 10.1038/ncomms10563

Open Access

URL http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10563
Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)

Abstract

Strongly correlated insulators are broadly divided into two classes: Mott–Hubbard insulators, where the insulating gap is driven by the Coulomb repulsion U on the transition-metal cation, and charge-transfer insulators, where the gap is driven by the charge-transfer energy Δ between the cation and the ligand anions. The relative magnitudes of U and Δ determine which class a material belongs to, and subsequently the nature of its low-energy excitations. These energy scales are typically understood through the local chemistry of the active ions. Here we show that the situation is more complex in the low-dimensional charge-transfer insulator Li2CuO2, where Δ has a large non-electronic component. Combining resonant inelastic X-ray scattering with detailed modelling, we determine how the elementary lattice, charge, spin and orbital excitations are entangled in this material. This results in a large lattice-driven renormalization of Δ, which significantly reshapes the fundamental electronic properties of Li2CuO2.
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