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Title: Atomic-scale observation of structural and electronic orders in the layered compound α-RuCl 3

A pseudospin-1/2 Mott phase on a honeycomb lattice is proposed to host the celebrated two-dimensional Kitaev model which has an elusive quantum spin liquid ground state, and fascinating physics relevant to the development of future templates towards topological quantum bits. Here we report a comprehensive, atomically resolved real-space study by scanning transmission electron and scanning tunnelling microscopies on a novel layered material displaying Kitaev physics, -RuCl3. Our local crystallography analysis reveals considerable variations in the geometry of the ligand sublattice in thin films of -RuCl3 that opens a way to realization of a spatially inhomogeneous magnetic ground state at the nanometre length scale. Using scanning tunnelling techniques, we observe the electronic energy gap of 0.25 eV and intra-unit cell symmetry breaking of charge distribution in individual -RuCl3 surface layer. The corresponding charge-ordered pattern has a fine structure associated with two different types of charge disproportionation at Cl-terminated surface.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. ORNL
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
1337025

Ziatdinov, Maxim A., Banerjee, Arnab, Maksov, Artem B., Berlijn, Tom, Zhou, Wu, Cao, Huibo, Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Mandrus, D. G., Nagler, Stephen E., Baddorf, Arthur P, and Kalinin, Sergei V. Atomic-scale observation of structural and electronic orders in the layered compound α-RuCl3. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms13774.
Ziatdinov, Maxim A., Banerjee, Arnab, Maksov, Artem B., Berlijn, Tom, Zhou, Wu, Cao, Huibo, Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Mandrus, D. G., Nagler, Stephen E., Baddorf, Arthur P, & Kalinin, Sergei V. Atomic-scale observation of structural and electronic orders in the layered compound α-RuCl3. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms13774.
Ziatdinov, Maxim A., Banerjee, Arnab, Maksov, Artem B., Berlijn, Tom, Zhou, Wu, Cao, Huibo, Yan, Jiaqiang, Bridges, Craig A., Mandrus, D. G., Nagler, Stephen E., Baddorf, Arthur P, and Kalinin, Sergei V. 2016. "Atomic-scale observation of structural and electronic orders in the layered compound α-RuCl3". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms13774. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1337025.
@article{osti_1337025,
title = {Atomic-scale observation of structural and electronic orders in the layered compound α-RuCl3},
author = {Ziatdinov, Maxim A. and Banerjee, Arnab and Maksov, Artem B. and Berlijn, Tom and Zhou, Wu and Cao, Huibo and Yan, Jiaqiang and Bridges, Craig A. and Mandrus, D. G. and Nagler, Stephen E. and Baddorf, Arthur P and Kalinin, Sergei V},
abstractNote = {A pseudospin-1/2 Mott phase on a honeycomb lattice is proposed to host the celebrated two-dimensional Kitaev model which has an elusive quantum spin liquid ground state, and fascinating physics relevant to the development of future templates towards topological quantum bits. Here we report a comprehensive, atomically resolved real-space study by scanning transmission electron and scanning tunnelling microscopies on a novel layered material displaying Kitaev physics, -RuCl3. Our local crystallography analysis reveals considerable variations in the geometry of the ligand sublattice in thin films of -RuCl3 that opens a way to realization of a spatially inhomogeneous magnetic ground state at the nanometre length scale. Using scanning tunnelling techniques, we observe the electronic energy gap of 0.25 eV and intra-unit cell symmetry breaking of charge distribution in individual -RuCl3 surface layer. The corresponding charge-ordered pattern has a fine structure associated with two different types of charge disproportionation at Cl-terminated surface.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms13774},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}

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