Truncated mass divergence in a Mott metal

Semeniuk, Konstantin, Chang, Hui, Baglo, Jordan, Friedemann, Sven, Tozer, Stanley W., Coniglio, William A., Gamza, Monika orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3360-4006, Reiss, Pascal, Alireza, Patricia et al (2023) Truncated mass divergence in a Mott metal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120 (38). pp. 1-6. ISSN 0027-8424

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The Mott metal–insulator transition represents one of the most fundamental phenomena in condensed matter physics. Yet, basic tenets of the canonical Brinkman-Rice picture of Mott localization remain to be tested experimentally by quantum oscillation measurements that directly probe the quasiparticle Fermi surface and effective mass. By extending this technique to high pressure, we have examined the metallic state on the threshold of Mott localization in clean, undoped crystals of NiS2. We find that i) on approaching Mott localization, the quasiparticle mass is strongly enhanced, whereas the Fermi surface remains essentially unchanged; ii) the quasiparticle mass closely follows the divergent form predicted theoretically, establishing charge carrier slowdown as the driver for the metal–insulator transition; iii) this mass divergence is truncated by the metal–insulator transition, placing the Mott critical point inside the insulating section of the phase diagram. The inaccessibility of the Mott critical point in NiS2 parallels findings at the threshold of ferromagnetism in clean metallic systems, in which criticality at low temperature is almost universally interrupted by first-order transitions or novel emergent phases such as incommensurate magnetic order or unconventional superconductivity.

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