Electric-Pulse-driven Electronic Phase Separation, Insulator–Metal Transition, and Possible Superconductivity in a Mott Insulator


  • L.C., B.C., and E.J contributed equally to this work. The authors thank J. Martial at IMN for her help in samples preparation, and F. Debontridder at INSP for technical support. This work was supported by a Young Researcher grant ANR-05-JCJC-0123-01 from the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (to L.C., B.C., and E.J.).


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Experimental evidence of a nonvolatile electric-pulse-induced insulator-to-metal transition and possible superconductivity in the Mott insulator GaTa4Se8 is reported. Scanning tunneling microscopy experiments show that this unconventional response of the system to short electric pulses arises from a nanometer-scale electronic phase separation generated in the bulk material (see figure).