Critical pattern formation at the Mott metal-insulator transition

Who: Erica Carlson, Purdue University
When: 
Monday, November 2, 2020 - 4:00pm
Where: 
Online

Joint Pitt/CMU Colloquium

Critical pattern formation at the Mott metal-insulator transition

Abstract:

I discuss the critical pattern formation of metallic and insulating nanoscale domains observed in NdNiO3 and VO2, via scanning near-field optical microscopy. The electronic phase transitions of these materials hold promise for novel ways to encode and process information, of interest for developing memristors and neuromorphic devices. Using theoretical tools from fractal mathematics and disordered statistical mechanics, we use the rich spatial information of this scanning probe in order to diagnose criticality from the spatial structure alone, without the need of a sweep of temperature or external field. The observed pattern formation points toward a combination of quenched disorder and interactions as the driving mechanism of the power law spatial organization of the domains.