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Volume-wise destruction of the antiferromagnetic Mott insulating state through quantum tuning

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Frandsen Benjamin A., Liu Lian, Cheung Sky C., Guguchia Zurab, Khasanov Rustem, Morenzoni Elvezio, Munsie Timothy J. S., Hallas Alannah M., Wilson Murray N., Cai Yipeng, Luke Graeme M., Chen Bijuan, Li Wenmin, Jin Changqing, Ding Cui, Guo Shengli, Ning Fanlong, Ito Takashi U., Higemoto Wataru, Billinge Simon J. L., Sakamoto Shoya, Fujimori Atsushi, Murakami Taito, Kageyama Hiroshi, Antonio Alonso Jose,
Project Interplay between the superconductivity and magnetism in cuprate and Fe-based superconductors
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Volume (Issue) 7
Page(s) 12519
Title of proceedings NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
DOI 10.1038/ncomms12519


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 (mSR) 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.