Record Details

Title:
Speed limit of the insulator–metal transition in magnetite
Topic:
Abstract:
As the oldest known magnetic material, magnetite (Fe3O4) has fascinated mankind for millennia. As the first oxide in which a relationship between electrical conductivity and fluctuating/localized electronic order was shown1, magnetite represents a model system for understanding correlated oxides in general. Nevertheless, the exact mechanism of the insulator–metal, or Verwey, transition has long remained inaccessible. Recently, three-Fe-site lattice distortions called trimerons were identified as the characteristic building blocks of the low-temperature insulating electronically ordered phase9. Here we investigate the Verwey transition with pump–probe X-ray diffraction and optical reflectivity techniques, and show how trimerons become mobile across the insulator–metal transition. We find this to be a two-step process. After an initial 300 fs destruction of individual trimerons, phase separation occurs on a 1.5±0.2 ps timescale to yield residual insulating and metallic regions. This work establishes the speed limit for switching in future oxide electronics
Imprint:
Basingstoke, Nature Publishing Group, 2013
Journal Information:
Nat. Mater., 12, 10, 882-886 (2013)
ISSN:
1476-1122
1476-4660
External related publications:
Language(s):
English


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 Record created 2016-10-11, last modified 2017-11-02

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