Nano-imaging of strain-tuned stripe textures in a Mott crystal

A. S. McLeod, A. Wieteska, G. Chiriaco, B. Foutty, Y. Wang, Y. Yuan, F. Xue, V. Gopalan, L. Q. Chen, Z. Q. Mao, A. J. Millis, A. N. Pasupathy, D. N. Basov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The 4d transition metal perovskites Can+1RunO3n+1 have attracted interest for their strongly interacting electronic phases showing pronounced sensitivity to controllable stimuli like strain, temperature, and even electrical current. Through multi-messenger low-temperature nano-imaging, we reveal a spontaneous striped texture of coexisting insulating and metallic domains in single crystals of the bilayer ruthenate Ca3(TixRu1-x)2O7 across its first-order Mott transition at T≈ 95 K. We image on-demand anisotropic nucleation and growth of these domains under in situ applied uniaxial strain rationalized through control of a spontaneous Jahn-Teller distortion. Our scanning nano-susceptibility imaging resolves the detailed susceptibility of coexisting phases to strain and temperature at the transition threshold. Comparing these nano-imaging results to bulk-sensitive elastoresistance measurements, we uncover an emergent “domain susceptibility” sensitive to both the volumetric phase fractions and elasticity of the self-organized domain lattice. Our combined susceptibility probes afford nano-scale insights into strain-mediated control over the insulator-metal transition in 4d transition metal oxides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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