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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Aug 22;113(8):086404. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

First-order insulator-to-metal Mott transition in the paramagnetic 3D system GaTa4Se8.

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Departamento de Física, FCEN, UBA, and IFIBA, CONICET, Pabellón 1, Ciudad Universitaria, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Gerencia de Investigación y Aplicaciones, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA), Avenida General Paz y Constituyentes, 1650 San Martín, Argentina and Instituto Sábato, Universidad Nacional de San Martín-CNEA, 1650 San Martín, Argentina.
Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel (IMN), Université de Nantes, CNRS, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP32229, 44322 Nantes, France.
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS-UMR8502, Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay 91405, France.


The nature of the Mott transition in the absence of any symmetry breaking remains a matter of debate. We study the correlation-driven insulator-to-metal transition in the prototypical 3D Mott system GaTa(4)Se(8), as a function of temperature and applied pressure. We report novel experiments on single crystals, which demonstrate that the transition is of first order and follows from the coexistence of two states, one insulating and one metallic, that we toggle with a small bias current. We provide support for our findings by contrasting the experimental data with calculations that combine local density approximation with dynamical mean-field theory, which are in very good agreement.

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