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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Aug 27;93(9):097004. Epub 2004 Aug 27.

Imaging nanoscale electronic inhomogeneity in the lightly doped Mott insulator Ca(2-x)NaxCuO2Cl2.

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1
Department of Advanced Materials Science, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8651, Japan.

Abstract

The spatial variation of electronic states was imaged in the lightly doped Mott insulator Ca(2-x)NaxCuO2Cl2 using scanning tunneling microscopy or spectroscopy. We observed nanoscale domains with a high local density of states within an insulating background. The observed domains have a characteristic length scale of 2 nm (approximately 4-5a, a: lattice constant) with preferred orientations along the tetragonal [100] direction. We argue that such spatially inhomogeneous electronic states are inherent to slightly doped Mott insulators and play an important role for the insulator to metal transition.

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