The electrical control of a material's conductivity is at the heart of modern electronics. Conventionally, this control is achieved by tuning the density of mobile charge carriers. A completely different approach is possible in Mott insulators such as Ca2RuO4, where an insulator-to-metal transition (IMT) can be induced by a weak electric field or current. While the driving force of the IMT is poorly understood, it has been thought to be a breakdown of the Mott state. Using in operando angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we show that this is not the case: The current-induced conductivity is caused by the formation of in-gap states with only a minor reorganization of the Mott state. Electronic structure calculations show that these in-gap states form at the boundaries of structural domains that emerge during the IMT. At such boundaries, the overall gap is drastically reduced, even if the structural difference between the domains is small and the individual domains retain their Mott character. The inhomogeneity of the sample is thus key to understanding the IMT, as it leads to a nonequilibrium semimetallic state that forms at the interface of Mott domains.

Current-driven insulator-to-metal transition without Mott breakdown in Ca2RuO4

Veronica Granata;Marco Cannavacciuolo;Giuseppe Cuono;Carmine Autieri;Filomena Forte;Guerino Avallone;Alfonso Romano;Mario Cuoco;Rosalba Fittipaldi;Antonio Vecchione;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The electrical control of a material's conductivity is at the heart of modern electronics. Conventionally, this control is achieved by tuning the density of mobile charge carriers. A completely different approach is possible in Mott insulators such as Ca2RuO4, where an insulator-to-metal transition (IMT) can be induced by a weak electric field or current. While the driving force of the IMT is poorly understood, it has been thought to be a breakdown of the Mott state. Using in operando angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we show that this is not the case: The current-induced conductivity is caused by the formation of in-gap states with only a minor reorganization of the Mott state. Electronic structure calculations show that these in-gap states form at the boundaries of structural domains that emerge during the IMT. At such boundaries, the overall gap is drastically reduced, even if the structural difference between the domains is small and the individual domains retain their Mott character. The inhomogeneity of the sample is thus key to understanding the IMT, as it leads to a nonequilibrium semimetallic state that forms at the interface of Mott domains.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4845191
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