Probing dynamics of complex ordered phases in colossal magnetoresistive transition-metal oxides using coherent resonant soft x-ray scattering

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Title: Probing dynamics of complex ordered phases in colossal magnetoresistive transition-metal oxides using coherent resonant soft x-ray scattering
Author: Turner, Joshua J., 1979-
Abstract: A growing interest in the physics of complex systems such as in the transition-metal oxide family has exploded recently, especially in the last 20 years or so. One notable effect is the change in electrical resistivity of a system by orders of magnitude in an applied magnetic field, coined the "colossal magnetoresistance effect". In efforts to understand these types of effects, there has been an unveiling of a rich variety of phenomena in the field of strongly correlated electron physics that has come to dominate the current scientific times. Most notable is the competition of myriad types of order: magnetic, lattice, charge and orbital all self-organize to display a fascinating array of phases on a variety of length scales. Furthermore, it has become apparent that new probes are needed to grasp some of this physics that transcends current condensed matter theory, where much of the behavior of these types of systems has remained unexplored. We have developed a new technique to gain more information about the system than with conventional x-ray diffraction. By scattering highly coherent, low energy x-rays, we can measure manganite speckle: a "fingerprint' of the microscopic structure in the bulk. The coherence of the x-rays can further be used to elucidate new insight into the dynamics of these phases. We describe here a number of novel effects near the orbital order phase transition in a half-doped manganite. We observe a small fluctuating component in the scattered signal that is correlated with three effects: both a rapidly decreasing total signal and orbital domain size, as well as an abrupt onset of a broad background intensity that we attribute to the thermal production of correlated polarons. Our results suggest that the transition is characterized by a competition between a pinned orbital domain topology that remains static, and mobile domain boundaries that exhibit slow, spatiotemporal fluctuations. This study opens up a new chapter to the study of manganite physics as coherent x-ray scattering offers a new direction to understand the strange and exotic behavior demonstrated in the multifaceted manganites.
Description: xxv, 207 p. ; ill. (some col.) A print copy of this title is available from the UO Libraries, under the call number: SCIENCE QD172.T6 T87 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/7506
Date: 2008-03


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