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Direct imaging of orbitals in quantum materials

MPS-Authors
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Yavaş,  Hasan
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Sundermann,  Martin
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Amorese,  Andrea
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Severing,  Andrea
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Gretarsson,  Hlynur
Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Tjeng,  Liu Hao
Liu Hao Tjeng, Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Yavaş, H., Sundermann, M., Chen, K., Amorese, A., Severing, A., Gretarsson, H., et al. (2019). Direct imaging of orbitals in quantum materials. Nature Physics, 15, 559-562. doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0471-2.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-41D7-1
Abstract
The electronic states of quantum materials based on transition-metal, rare-earth and actinide elements are dominated by electrons in the d and f orbitals intertwined with the strong band formation of the solid. Until now, to estimate which specific orbitals contribute to the ground state and thereby determine their physical properties we have had to rely on theoretical calculations combined with spectroscopy. Here, we show that s-core-level non-resonant inelastic X-ray scattering can directly image the active orbital in real space, without the necessity for any modelling. The power and accuracy of this new technique is shown using the textbook example, x2 − y2/3z2 − r2 orbital of the Ni2+ ion in NiO single crystal.