We show that the valence electrons of Ba3NaRu2O9, which has a quasimolecular structure, completely crystallize below 210 K. Using an extended Hubbard model, we show that the charge ordering instability results from long-range Coulomb interactions. However, orbital ordering, metal-metal bonding, and formation of a partial spin gap enforce the magnitude of the charge separation. The striped charge order and frustrated hcp lattice of Ru2O9 dimers lead to competition with a quasidegenerate charge-melted phase under photoexcitation at low temperature. Our results establish a broad class of simple metal oxides as models for emergent phenomena at the border between the molecular and solid states.
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Early online date||24 May 2012|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|