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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics