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Published May 13, 2021 | Published + Submitted
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A continuous metal-insulator transition driven by spin correlations


While Mott insulators induced by Coulomb interactions are a well-recognized class of metal-insulator transitions, insulators purely driven by spin correlations are much less common, as the reduced energy scale often invites competition from other degrees of freedom. Here, we demonstrate a clean example of a spin-correlation-driven metal-insulator transition in the all-in-all-out pyrochlore antiferromagnet Cd₂Os₂O₇, where the lattice symmetry is preserved by the antiferromagnetism. After the antisymmetric linear magnetoresistance from conductive, ferromagnetic domain walls is removed experimentally, the bulk Hall coefficient reveals four Fermi surfaces of both electron and hole types, sequentially departing the Fermi level with decreasing temperature below the Néel temperature, T_N = 227 K. In Cd₂Os₂O₇, the charge gap of a continuous metal-insulator transition opens only at T ~ 10 K << T_N. The insulating mechanism parallels the Slater picture, but without a folded Brillouin zone, and contrasts sharply with Mott insulators and spin density waves, where the electronic gap opens above and at T_N, respectively.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 25 August 2020; Accepted 14 April 2021; Published 13 May 2021. Y.F. acknowledges support from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, with subsidy funding from the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. The work at Caltech was supported by NSF DMR-Condensed Matter Physics. D.M.S. acknowledges support from AFOSR Grant No. FA9550-20-1-0263. P.A.L. acknowledges support from the US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Grant No. DE-FG02-03ER46076. D.M. acknowledges support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request. Author Contributions: Y.F., Y.W., P.A.L., and T.F.R. conceived of the research; D.M. provided the samples; Y.F., Y.W., D.M.S., and S.E.C. performed the experiments; Y.F., Y.W., P.A.L., and T.F.R. analyzed the data and prepared the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications thanks the anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Published - s41467-021-23039-6.pdf

Submitted - 2009.13277.pdf


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August 22, 2023
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