Abstract by Ethan Fletcher
Physics and Astronomy
Probing the Mott transition in V2O3 with Pair Distribution Function Analysis
V2O3 is a popular system for studying Mott insulators, which are materials that are driven into an insulating state by strong electron correlations. Despite decades of research, a complete understanding of the metal-insulator transition in V2O3 has not been conclusively established. Here, we present comprehensive atomic and magnetic pair distribution function (PDF) analyses of V2O3 using both x-ray and neutron total scattering measurements, shedding new light on the mechanism of the transition from the point of view of short-range structural and magnetic correlations on both sides of the transition. The results allow us to thoroughly examine the transition from the metallic state to the insulating state with complementary sensitivity provided by the x-rays (sensitive to the vanadium displacements) and neutrons (sensitive to the oxygen displacements and magnetic correlations). We discuss the implications of these results in the context of other recent experimental and theoretical studies of V2O3.