Physical Review B

Measurement of collective excitations in VO2 by resonant inelastic x-ray scattering

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Vanadium dioxide is of broad interest as a spin-12 electron system that realizes a metal-insulator transition near room temperature, due to a combination of strongly correlated and itinerant electron physics. Here, resonant inelastic x-ray scattering is used to measure the excitation spectrum of charge and spin degrees of freedom at the vanadium L edge under different polarization and temperature conditions, revealing excitations that differ greatly from those seen in optical measurements. These spectra encode the evolution of short-range energetics across the metal-insulator transition, including the low-temperature appearance of a strong candidate for the singlet-triplet excitation of a vanadium dimer.