Collapse of magnetic moment drives the Mott transition in MnO

Jan Kuně, Alexey V. Lukoyanov, Vladimir I. Anisimov, Richard T. Scalettar, Warren E. Pickett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


The metal-insulator transition in correlated electron systems, where electron states transform from itinerant to localized, has been one of the central themes of condensed-matter physics for more than half a century. The persistence of this question has been a consequence both of the intricacy of the fundamental issues and the growing recognition of the complexities that arise in real materials, when strong repulsive interactions play the primary role. The initial concept of Mott was based on the relative importance of kinetic hopping (measured by the bandwidth) and onsite repulsion of electrons. Real materials, however, have many further degrees of freedom that, as is recently attracting note, give rise to a rich variety of scenarios for a Mott transition. Here, we report results for the classic correlated insulator MnO that reproduce a simultaneous moment collapse, volume collapse and metallization transition near the observed pressure, and identify the mechanism as collapse of the magnetic moment due to an increase of crystal-field splitting, rather than to variation in the bandwidth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


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