Breakdown of Hooke's law of elasticity at the mott critical endpoint in an organic conductor

Elena Gati, Markus Garst, Rudra S. Manna, Ulrich Tutsch, Bernd Wolf, Lorenz Bartosch, Harald Schubert, Takahiko Sasaki, John A. Schlueter, Michael Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The Mott metal-insulator transition, a paradigm of strong electron-electron correlations, has been considered as a source of intriguing phenomena. Despite its importance for a wide range of materials, fundamental aspects of the transition, such as its universal properties, are still under debate. We report detailed measurements of relative length changes ΔL/L as a function of continuously controlled helium-gas pressure P for the organic conductor κ-(BEDT-TTF)2Cu[N(CN)2]Cl across the pressure-induced Mott transition. We observe strongly nonlinear variations of ΔL/L with pressure around the Mott critical endpoint, highlighting a breakdown of Hooke's law of elasticity. We assign these nonlinear strain-stress relations to an intimate, nonperturbative coupling of the critical electronic system to the lattice degrees of freedom. Our results are fully consistent with mean-field criticality, predicted for electrons in a compressible lattice with finite shear moduli. We argue that the Mott transition for all systems that are amenable to pressure tuning shows the universal properties of an isostructural solid-solid transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1601646
JournalScience Advances
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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