Spontaneous formation of zigzag chains at the metal-insulator transition in the β-pyrochlore CsW2O6

Daigorou Hirai, Martin Bremholm, Jared M. Allred, Jason Krizan, Leslie M. Schoop, Qing Huang, Jing Tao, R. J. Cava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

A paramagnetic metal to nonmagnetic insulator transition at T MIT=210 K is reported for the β-pyrochlore oxide CsW 2O6, accompanied by a first order structural transition that creates 110 oriented chains in the pyrochlore lattice. Comparison of CsW2O6, which has 1 electron per 2 W sites, to the fully d0 analog CsTaWO6 shows that the transitions are electronically driven. Corefinement of high resolution synchrotron x-ray and neutron diffraction data shows that the structural distortion that creates the W chains cannot be attributed to simple charge or orbital ordering. Density functional theory calculations suggest that the phase transition is driven by a sharply peaked electronic density of states near the Fermi energy in the cubic β-pyrochlore phase. A further electronic instability is required to create the insulating ground state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number166402
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume110
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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