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Imaging the itinerant-to-localized transmutation of electrons across the metal-to-insulator transition in V2O3.

  • Thees, Maximilian1
  • Lee, Min-Han2
  • Bouwmeester, Rosa Luca3
  • Rezende-Gonçalves, Pedro H1, 4
  • David, Emma1
  • Zimmers, Alexandre5
  • Fortuna, Franck1
  • Frantzeskakis, Emmanouil1
  • Vargas, Nicolas M2
  • Kalcheim, Yoav2
  • Le Fèvre, Patrick6
  • Horiba, Koji7
  • Kumigashira, Hiroshi7, 8
  • Biermann, Silke9, 10, 11
  • Trastoy, Juan12
  • Rozenberg, Marcelo J13
  • Schuller, Ivan K2
  • Santander-Syro, Andrés F1
  • 1 Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay, 91405 Orsay, France. , (France)
  • 2 Department of Physics and Center for Advanced Nanoscience, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
  • 3 Faculty of Science and Technology and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 4 Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Pres. Antonio Carlos, 6627 Belo Horizonte, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 5 LPEM, ESPCI Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, 75005 Paris, France. , (France)
  • 6 Synchrotron SOLEIL, L'Orme des Merisiers, Saint-Aubin-BP48, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France. , (France)
  • 7 Photon Factory, Institute of Materials Structure Science, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), 1-1 Oho, Tsukuba 305-0801, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 8 Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM), Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 9 CPHT, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, F-91128 Palaiseau, France. , (France)
  • 10 Collège de France, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75005 Paris, France. , (France)
  • 11 Department of Physics, Division of Mathematical Physics, Lund University, Professorsgatan 1, 22363 Lund, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 12 Unité Mixte de Physique, CNRS, Thales, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91767 Palaiseau, France. , (France)
  • 13 Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, 91405 Orsay, France. , (France)
Published Article
Science Advances
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2021
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj1164
PMID: 34730993


In solids, strong repulsion between electrons can inhibit their movement and result in a “Mott” metal-to-insulator transition (MIT), a fundamental phenomenon whose understanding has remained a challenge for over 50 years. A key issue is how the wave-like itinerant electrons change into a localized-like state due to increased interactions. However, observing the MIT in terms of the energy- and momentum-resolved electronic structure of the system, the only direct way to probe both itinerant and localized states, has been elusive. Here we show, using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), that in V2O3, the temperature-induced MIT is characterized by the progressive disappearance of its itinerant conduction band, without any change in its energy-momentum dispersion, and the simultaneous shift to larger binding energies of a quasi-localized state initially located near the Fermi level.

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