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  1. Abstract Excitonic insulators are usually considered to form via the condensation of a soft charge mode of bound electron-hole pairs. This, however, presumes that the soft exciton is of spin-singlet character. Early theoretical considerations have also predicted a very distinct scenario, in which the condensation of magnetic excitons results in an antiferromagnetic excitonic insulator state. Here we report resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) measurements of Sr 3 Ir 2 O 7 . By isolating the longitudinal component of the spectra, we identify a magnetic mode that is well-defined at the magnetic and structural Brillouin zone centers, but which merges withmore »the electronic continuum in between these high symmetry points and which decays upon heating concurrent with a decrease in the material’s resistivity. We show that a bilayer Hubbard model, in which electron-hole pairs are bound by exchange interactions, consistently explains all the electronic and magnetic properties of Sr 3 Ir 2 O 7 indicating that this material is a realization of the long-predicted antiferromagnetic excitonic insulator phase.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023