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Title: Atomic-scale fragmentation and collapse of antiferromagnetic order in a doped Mott insulator

Abstract

Disentangling the relationship between the insulating state with a charge gap and the magnetic order in an antiferromagnetic Mott insulator remains difficult due to inherent phase separation as the Mott state is perturbed. Measuring magnetic and electronic properties at atomic length scales would provide crucial insight, yet this is yet to be experimentally achieved. Here, we use spin-polarized scanning tunnelling microscopy (SP-STM) to visualize the periodic spin-resolved modulations originating from the antiferromagnetic order in a relativistic Mott insulator Sr2IrO4, and how they change as a function of doping. We find that near the insulator-to-metal transition (IMT), the long-range antiferromagnetic order melts into a fragmented state with short-range correlations. Crucially, we discover that the short-range antiferromagnetic order is locally uncorrelated with the observed spectral gap magnitude. This indicates that static short-range antiferromagnetic correlations are unlikely to be the cause of the inhomogeneous closing of the spectral gap and the emergence of pseudogap regions near the IMT. Our work establishes SP-STM as a powerful tool for revealing atomic-scale magnetic information in complex oxides.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1];  [4];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (United States)
  2. Indian Inst. of Technology (IIT), New Delhi (India); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); Army Research Office (ARO); National Science Foundation (NSF); US Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR); John Templeton Foundation
OSTI Identifier:
1597877
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0020130; W911NF-17-1-0399; DMR-1654041; FG02-99ER45747; N00014-16-1-2657; DMR-1700137; DMR-1905801; W911NF-16-1-0361
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Zhao, He, Manna, Sujit, Porter, Zach, Chen, Xiang, Uzdejczyk, Andrew, Moodera, Jagadeesh, Wang, Ziqiang, Wilson, Stephen D., and Zeljkovic, Ilija. Atomic-scale fragmentation and collapse of antiferromagnetic order in a doped Mott insulator. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-019-0671-9.
Zhao, He, Manna, Sujit, Porter, Zach, Chen, Xiang, Uzdejczyk, Andrew, Moodera, Jagadeesh, Wang, Ziqiang, Wilson, Stephen D., & Zeljkovic, Ilija. Atomic-scale fragmentation and collapse of antiferromagnetic order in a doped Mott insulator. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-019-0671-9
Zhao, He, Manna, Sujit, Porter, Zach, Chen, Xiang, Uzdejczyk, Andrew, Moodera, Jagadeesh, Wang, Ziqiang, Wilson, Stephen D., and Zeljkovic, Ilija. Mon . "Atomic-scale fragmentation and collapse of antiferromagnetic order in a doped Mott insulator". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-019-0671-9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1597877.
@article{osti_1597877,
title = {Atomic-scale fragmentation and collapse of antiferromagnetic order in a doped Mott insulator},
author = {Zhao, He and Manna, Sujit and Porter, Zach and Chen, Xiang and Uzdejczyk, Andrew and Moodera, Jagadeesh and Wang, Ziqiang and Wilson, Stephen D. and Zeljkovic, Ilija},
abstractNote = {Disentangling the relationship between the insulating state with a charge gap and the magnetic order in an antiferromagnetic Mott insulator remains difficult due to inherent phase separation as the Mott state is perturbed. Measuring magnetic and electronic properties at atomic length scales would provide crucial insight, yet this is yet to be experimentally achieved. Here, we use spin-polarized scanning tunnelling microscopy (SP-STM) to visualize the periodic spin-resolved modulations originating from the antiferromagnetic order in a relativistic Mott insulator Sr2IrO4, and how they change as a function of doping. We find that near the insulator-to-metal transition (IMT), the long-range antiferromagnetic order melts into a fragmented state with short-range correlations. Crucially, we discover that the short-range antiferromagnetic order is locally uncorrelated with the observed spectral gap magnitude. This indicates that static short-range antiferromagnetic correlations are unlikely to be the cause of the inhomogeneous closing of the spectral gap and the emergence of pseudogap regions near the IMT. Our work establishes SP-STM as a powerful tool for revealing atomic-scale magnetic information in complex oxides.},
doi = {10.1038/s41567-019-0671-9},
journal = {Nature Physics},
number = 12,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

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