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Journal Article

Orbital-Assisted Metal-Insulator Transition in VO2

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Haverkort, M. W., Hu, Z., Tanaka, A., Reichelt, W., Streltsov, S. V., Korotin, M. A., et al. (2005). Orbital-Assisted Metal-Insulator Transition in VO2. Physical Review Letters, 95(19): 196404, pp. 1-4. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.196404.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-17FE-4
We found direct experimental evidence for an orbital switching in the V 3d states across the metal-insulator transition in VO2. We have used soft-x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the V L-2,L-3 edges as a sensitive local probe and have determined quantitatively the orbital polarizations. These results strongly suggest that, in going from the metallic to the insulating state, the orbital occupation changes in a manner that charge fluctuations and effective bandwidths are reduced, that the system becomes more one dimensional and more susceptible to a Peierls-like transition, and that the required massive orbital switching can only be made if the system is close to a Mott insulating regime.