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Creators/Authors contains: "Wang, Ziqiang"

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  1. Abstract

    Interplay of magnetism and electronic band topology in unconventional magnets enables the creation and fine control of novel electronic phenomena. In this work, we use scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to study thin films of a prototypical kagome magnet Fe3Sn2. Our experiments reveal an unusually large number of densely-spaced spectroscopic features straddling the Fermi level. These are consistent with signatures of low-energy Weyl fermions and associated topological Fermi arc surface states predicted by theory. By measuring their response as a function of magnetic field, we discover a pronounced evolution in energy tied to the magnetization direction. Electron scattering and interference imaging further demonstrates the tunable nature of a subset of related electronic states. Our experiments provide a direct visualization of how in-situ spin reorientation drives changes in the electronic density of states of the Weyl fermion band structure. Combined with previous reports of massive Dirac fermions, flat bands, and electronic nematicity, our work establishes Fe3Sn2as an interesting platform that harbors an extraordinarily wide array of topological and correlated electron phenomena.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Correlated oxides can exhibit complex magnetic patterns. Understanding how magnetic domains form in the presence of disorder and their robustness to temperature variations has been of particular interest, but atomic scale insight has been limited. We use spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy to image the evolution of spin-resolved modulations originating from antiferromagnetic (AF) ordering in a spin-orbit Mott insulator perovskite iridate Sr 3 Ir 2 O 7 as a function of chemical composition and temperature. We find that replacing only several percent of lanthanum for strontium leaves behind nanometer-scale AF puddles clustering away from lanthanum substitutions preferentially located in the middle strontium oxide layer. Thermal erasure and reentry into the low-temperature ground state leads to a spatial reorganization of the AF puddles, which nevertheless maintain scale-invariant fractal geometry in each configuration. Our experiments reveal multiple stable AF configurations at low temperature and shed light onto spatial fluctuations of the AF order around atomic scale disorder in electron-doped Sr 3 Ir 2 O 7 .
  4. Abstract

    In a material prone to a nematic instability, anisotropic strain in principle provides a preferred symmetry-breaking direction for the electronic nematic state to follow. This is consistent with experimental observations, where electronic nematicity and structural anisotropy typically appear hand-in-hand. In this work, we discover that electronic nematicity can be locally decoupled from the underlying structural anisotropy in strain-engineered iron-selenide (FeSe) thin films. We use heteroepitaxial molecular beam epitaxy to grow FeSe with a nanoscale network of modulations that give rise to spatially varying strain. We map local anisotropic strain by analyzing scanning tunneling microscopy topographs, and visualize electronic nematic domains from concomitant spectroscopic maps. While the domains form so that the energy of nemato-elastic coupling is minimized, we observe distinct regions where electronic nematic ordering fails to flip direction, even though the underlying structural anisotropy is locally reversed. The findings point towards a nanometer-scale stiffness of the nematic order parameter.

  5. Abstract

    The path from a Mott insulating phase to high temperature superconductivity encounters a rich set of unconventional phenomena involving the insulator-to-metal transition (IMT), such as emergent electronic orders and pseudogaps, that ultimately affect the condensation of Cooper pairs. A huge hindrance to understanding the origin of these phenomena is the difficulty in accessing doping levels near the parent state. TheJeff = 1/2 Mott state of the perovskite strontium iridates has revealed intriguing parallels to the cuprates, with the advantage that it provides unique access to the Mott transition. Here, we exploit this accessibility to study the IMT and the possible nearby electronic orders in the electron-doped bilayer iridate (Sr1 − xLax)3Ir2O7. Using spectroscopic imaging scanning tunneling microscopy, we image the La dopants in the top as well as the interlayer SrO planes. Surprisingly, we find a disproportionate distribution of La between these layers with the interlayer La being primarily responsible for the IMT. This reveals the distinct site-dependent effects of dopants on the electronic properties of bilayer systems. Electron doping also results in charge reordering. We find unidirectional electronic order concomitant with the structural distortion known to exist in this system. Intriguingly, similar to the single layer iridate, we also find local resonantmore »states forming a checkerboard-like pattern trapped by La. This suggests that multiple charge orders may exist simultaneously in Mott systems, even with only one band crossing the Fermi energy.

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