Interplay between structural, magnetic, and electronic states in the pyrochlore iridate Eu2Ir2 O7
- Journal Article
We address the concomitant metal-insulator transition (MIT) and antiferromagnetic ordering in the novel pyrochlore iridate Eu2Ir2O7 by combining x-ray absorption spectroscopy, x-ray and neutron diffractions, and density functional theory (DFT)-based calculations. The temperature dependent powder x-ray diffraction clearly rules out any change in the lattice symmetry below the MIT, nevertheless a clear anomaly in the Ir-O-Ir bond angle and Ir-O bond length is evident at the onset of MIT. From the x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopic study of Ir-L3 and L2 edges, the effective spin-orbit coupling is found to be intermediate, at least quite far from the strong atomic spin-orbit coupling limit. Powder neutron diffraction measurement is in line with an all-in-all-out magnetic structure of the Ir-tetrahedra in this compound, which is quite common among rare-earth pyrochlore iridates. The sharp change in the Ir-O-Ir bond angle around the MIT possibly arises from the exchange striction mechanism, which favors an enhanced electron correlation via weakening of Ir-Ir orbital overlap and an insulating phase below TMI. The theoretical calculations indicate an insulating state for shorter bond angle validating the experimental observation. Our DFT calculations show a possibility of intriguing topological phase below a critical value of the Ir-O distance, which is shorter than the experimentally observed bond length. Therefore, a topological state may be realized in bulk Eu2Ir2O7 sample if the Ir-O bond length can be reduced by the application of sufficient external pressure. Show more
Journal / seriesPhysical Review B
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
Organisational unit03903 - Spaldin, Nicola A. / Spaldin, Nicola A.
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