Nickelates are a rich class of materials, ranging from insulating magnets to superconductors. But for stoichiometric materials, insulating behavior is the norm, as for most late transition metal oxides. Notable exceptions are the 3D perovskite LaNiO3, an unconventional paramagnetic metal, and the layered Ruddlesden-Popper phases R4Ni3O10, (R = La, Pr, Nd). The latter are particularly intriguing because they exhibit an unusual metal-to-metal transition. Here, we demonstrate that this transition results from an incommensurate density wave with both charge and magnetic character that lies closer in its behavior to the metallic density wave seen in chromium metal than the insulating stripes typically found in single-layer nickelates like La2-xSrxNiO4. We identify these intertwined density waves as being Fermi surface-driven, revealing a novel ordering mechanism in this nickelate that reflects a coupling among charge, spin, and lattice degrees of freedom that differs not only from the single-layer materials, but from the 3D perovskites as well.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)