1932

Abstract

We discuss phenomena arising from the combined influence of electron correlation and spin-orbit coupling (SOC), with an emphasis on emergent quantum phases and transitions in heavy transition metal compounds with 4 and 5 elements. A common theme is the influence of spin-orbital entanglement produced by SOC, which influences the electronic and magnetic structure. In the weak-to-intermediate correlation regime, we show how nontrivial band-like topology leads to a plethora of phases related to topological insulators (TIs). We expound these ideas using the example of pyrochlore iridates, showing how many novel phases, such as the Weyl semimetal, axion insulator, topological Mott insulator, and TIs, may arise in this context. In the strong correlation regime, we argue that spin-orbital entanglement fully or partially removes orbital degeneracy, reducing or avoiding the normally ubiquitous Jahn-Teller effect. As we illustrate for the honeycomb-lattice iridates and double perovskites, this leads to enhanced quantum fluctuations of the spin-orbital entangled states and the chance to promote exotic spin liquid and multipolar ordered ground states. Connections to experiments, materials, and future directions are discussed.

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2014-03-10
2024-04-25
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