Interest in many strongly spin-orbit-coupled 5d-transition metal oxide insulators stems from mapping their electronic structures to a J eff=1/2 Mott phase. One of the hopes is to establish their Mott parent states and explore these systems' potential of realizing novel electronic states upon carrier doping. However, once doped, little is understood regarding the role of their reduced Coulomb interaction U relative to their strongly correlated 3d-electron cousins. Here we show that, upon hole-doping a candidate Jeff=1/2 Mott insulator, carriers remain localized within a nanoscale phase-separated ground state. A percolative metal-insulator transition occurs with interplay between localized and itinerant regions, stabilizing an antiferromagnetic metallic phase beyond the critical region. Our results demonstrate a surprising parallel between doped 5d- and 3d-electron Mott systems and suggest either through the near-degeneracy of nearby electronic phases or direct carrier localization that U is essential to the carrier response of this doped spin-orbit Mott insulator.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)