Category Archives: 2012

Semimetal and Topological Insulator in Perovskite Iridates

The two-dimensional layered perovskite Sr2IrO4 was proposed to be a spin-orbit Mott insulator, where the effect of Hubbard interaction is amplified on a narrow Jeff=1/2band due to strong spin-orbit coupling. On the other hand, the three-dimensional orthorhombic perovskite (Pbnm) SrIrO3 remains metallic. To understand the physical origin of the metallic state and possible transitions to insulating phases, we construct a tight-binding model for SrIrO3. The band structure possesses a line node made ofJeff=1/2 bands below the Fermi level. As a consequence, instability toward magnetic ordering is suppressed, and the system remains metallic. This line node, originating from the underlying crystal structure, turns into a pair of three-dimensional nodal points on the introduction of a staggered potential or spin-orbit coupling strength between alternating layers. Increasing this potential beyond a critical strength induces a transition to a strong topological insulator, followed by another transition to a normal band insulator. We propose that materials constructed with alternating Ir- and Rh-oxide layers along the (001) direction, such as Sr2IrRhO6, are candidates for a strong topological insulator.

Jean-Michel Carter1, V. Vijay Shankar1, M. Ahsan Zeb2, and Hae-Young Kee1,3,*
1Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A7 Canada
2Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
3Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hidden and antiferromagnetic order as a rank-5 superspin in URu2Si2

We propose a candidate for the hidden order in URu2Si2: a rank-5 E type spin density wave between Uranium 5f crystal field doublets breaking time reversal and lattice tetragonal symmetry in a manner consistent with recent torque measurements [R. Okazaki et al, Science 331, 439 (2011)]. We argue that coupling of this order parameter to magnetic probes can be hidden by crystal field effects, while still having significant effects on transport, thermodynamics and magnetic susceptibilities. In a simple tight-binding model for the heavy quasiparticles, we show the connection between the hidden order and antiferromagnetic phases arises since they form different components of this single rank-5 pseudo-spin vector. Using a phenomenological theory, we show the experimental pressure-temperature phase diagram can be qualitatively reproduced by tuning terms which break pseudo-spin rotational symmetry. As a test of our proposal, we predict the presence of small magnetic moments in the basal plane oriented in the [110] direction ordered at the wave-vector (0,0,1).

Je rey G. Rau1 and Hae-Young Kee1, 2
1Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A7, Canada
2Canadian Institute for Advanced Research/Quantum Materials Program, Toronto, Ontario MSG 1Z8, Canada