Mott transitions in real materials are first order and almost always associated with lattice distortions, both features promoting the emergence of nanotextured phases. This nanoscale self-organization creates spatially inhomogeneous regions, which can host and protect transient non-thermal electronic and lattice states triggered by light excitation. Here, we combine time-resolved X-ray microscopy with a Landau-Ginzburg functional approach for calculating the strain and electronic real-space configurations. We investigate V2O3, the archetypal Mott insulator in which nanoscale self-organization already exists in the low-temperature monoclinic phase and strongly affects the transition towards the high-temperature corundum metallic phase. Our joint experimental-theoretical approach uncovers a remarkable out-of-equilibrium phenomenon: the photo-induced stabilisation of the long sought monoclinic metal phase, which is absent at equilibrium and in homogeneous materials, but emerges as a metastable state solely when light excitation is combined with the underlying nanotexture of the monoclinic lattice.

Nanoscale self-organization and metastable non-thermal metallicity in Mott insulators / Ronch, i A.; Franceschini, P.; De Poli, A.; Homm, P.; Fitzpatrick, A.; Maccherozzi, F.; Ferrini, G.; Banfi, F.; Dhesi, S. S.; Menghini, M.; Fabrizio, M.; Locquet, J. -P.; Giannetti, C.. - In: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2041-1723. - 13:1(2022), pp. 1-14. [10.1038/s41467-022-31298-0]

Nanoscale self-organization and metastable non-thermal metallicity in Mott insulators

De Poli, A.;Fitzpatrick, A.;Fabrizio, M.;Giannetti, C.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Mott transitions in real materials are first order and almost always associated with lattice distortions, both features promoting the emergence of nanotextured phases. This nanoscale self-organization creates spatially inhomogeneous regions, which can host and protect transient non-thermal electronic and lattice states triggered by light excitation. Here, we combine time-resolved X-ray microscopy with a Landau-Ginzburg functional approach for calculating the strain and electronic real-space configurations. We investigate V2O3, the archetypal Mott insulator in which nanoscale self-organization already exists in the low-temperature monoclinic phase and strongly affects the transition towards the high-temperature corundum metallic phase. Our joint experimental-theoretical approach uncovers a remarkable out-of-equilibrium phenomenon: the photo-induced stabilisation of the long sought monoclinic metal phase, which is absent at equilibrium and in homogeneous materials, but emerges as a metastable state solely when light excitation is combined with the underlying nanotexture of the monoclinic lattice.
2022
13
1
1
14
3730
10.1038/s41467-022-31298-0
https://arxiv.org/abs/2109.05116
Ronch, i A.; Franceschini, P.; De Poli, A.; Homm, P.; Fitzpatrick, A.; Maccherozzi, F.; Ferrini, G.; Banfi, F.; Dhesi, S. S.; Menghini, M.; Fabrizio, M.; Locquet, J. -P.; Giannetti, C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/133576
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