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  1. Abstract

    We investigated the doping and temperature evolutions of the optical response of Sr3(Ir1−xMnx)2O7single crystals with 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.36 by utilizing infrared spectroscopy. Substitution of 3dtransition metal Mn ions into Sr3Ir2O7is expected to induce an insulator-to-metal transition via the decrease in the magnitude of the spin–orbit coupling and the hole doping. In sharp contrast, our data reveal the resilience of the spin–orbit coupling and the incoherent character of the charge transport. Upon Mn substitution, an incoherent in-gap excitation at about 0.25 eV appeared with the decrease in the strength of the optical transitions between the effective total angular momentumJeffbands of the Ir ions. The resonance energies of the optical transitions between theJeffbands which are directly proportional to the magnitude of the spin–orbit coupling hardly varied. In addition to these evolutions of the low-energy response, Mn substitution led to the emergence of a distinct high-energy optical excitation at about 1.2 eV which is larger than the resonance energies of the optical transitions between theJeffbands. This observation indicates that the Mn 3dstates are located away from the Ir 5dstates in energy and that the large difference in the on-site energies of the transition metal ions is responsible for the incoherent charge transport and the robustness of the spin–orbit coupling. The effect of Mn substitution was also registered in the temperature dependence of the electronic response. The anomaly in the optical response of the parent compound observed at the antiferromagnetic transition temperature is notably suppressed in the Mn-doped compounds despite the persistence of the long-range antiferromagnetic ordering. The suppression of the spin-charge coupling could be related to charge disproportionation of the Ir ions.

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  2. Abstract In high-temperature ( T c ) cuprate superconductors, many exotic phenomena are rooted in the enigmatic pseudogap state, which has been interpreted as consisting of preformed Cooper pairs or competing orders or a combination thereof. Observation of pseudogap phenomenologically in electron-doped Sr 2 IrO 4 —the 5d electron counterpart of the cuprates, has spurred intense interest in the strontium iridates as a testbed for exploring the exotic physics of the cuprates. Here, we examine the pseudogap state of electron-doped Sr 2 IrO 4 by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and parallel theoretical modeling. Our analysis demonstrates that the pseudogap state of Sr 2 IrO 4 appears without breaking the particle–hole symmetry or inducing spectral broadening which are telltale signatures of competing orders in the cuprates. We find quasiparticle dispersion and its temperature dependence in the pseudogap state of Sr 2 IrO 4 to point to an electronic order with a zero scattering wave vector and limited correlation length. Particle–hole symmetric preformed Cooper pairs are discussed as a viable mechanism for such an electronic order. The potential roles of incommensurate density waves are also discussed. 
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  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 . 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract We report on optical spectroscopic study of the Sr 3 (Ir 1- x Ru x ) 2 O 7 system over a wide doping regime. We find that the changes in the electronic structure occur in the limited range of the concentration of Ru ions where the insulator–metal transition occurs. In the insulating regime, the electronic structure associated with the effective total angular momentum J eff  = 1/2 Mott state remains robust against Ru doping, indicating the localization of the doped holes. Upon entering the metallic regime, the Mott gap collapses and the Drude-like peak with strange metallic character appears. The evolution of the electronic structure registered in the optical data can be explained in terms of a percolative insulator–metal transition. The phonon spectra display anomalous doping evolution of the lineshapes. While the phonon modes of the compounds deep in the insulating and metallic regimes are almost symmetric, those of the semiconducting compound with x  = 0.34 in close proximity to the doping-driven insulator–metal transition show a pronounced asymmetry. The temperature evolution of the phonon modes of the x  = 0.34 compound reveals the asymmetry is enhanced in the antiferromagnetic state. We discuss roles of the S  = 1 spins of the Ru ions and charge excitations for the conspicuous lineshape asymmetry of the x  = 0.34 compound. 
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