First-Order Melting of a Weak Spin-Orbit Mott Insulator into a Correlated Metal

Tom Hogan, Z. Yamani, D. Walkup, Xiang Chen, Rebecca Dally, Thomas Z. Ward, M. P.M. Dean, John Hill, Z. Islam, Vidya Madhavan, Stephen D. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electronic phase diagram of the weak spin-orbit Mott insulator (Sr1-xLax)3Ir2O7 is determined via an exhaustive experimental study. Upon doping electrons via La substitution, an immediate collapse in resistivity occurs along with a narrow regime of nanoscale phase separation comprised of antiferromagnetic, insulating regions and paramagnetic, metallic puddles persisting until x≈0.04. Continued electron doping results in an abrupt, first-order phase boundary where the Néel state is suppressed and a homogenous, correlated, metallic state appears with an enhanced spin susceptibility and local moments. As the metallic state is stabilized, a weak structural distortion develops and suggests a competing instability with the parent spin-orbit Mott state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number257203
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 25 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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