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Incident energy and polarization-dependent resonant inelastic x-ray scattering study of La2CuO4


L. Lu, J.N. Hancock, G. Chabot-Couture, K. Ishii, O.P. Vajk, G. Yu, J. Mizuki, D. Casa, T. Gog, M. Greven

PHYSICAL REVIEW B

74 (22)
Art. #224509

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Abstract:
We present a detailed Cu K-edge resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) study of the Mott insulator La2CuO4 in the 1-7 eV energy loss range. As initially found for the high-temperature superconductor HgBa2CuO4+delta, the spectra exhibit a multiplet of weakly dispersive electron-hole excitations, which are revealed by utilizing the subtle dependence of the cross section on the incident photon energy. The close similarity between the fine structures for in-plane and out-of-plane polarizations is indicative of the central role played by the 1s core hole in inducing charge excitations within the CuO2 planes. On the other hand, we observe a polarization dependence of the spectral weight, and careful analysis reveals two separate features near 2 eV that may be related to different charge-transfer processes. The polarization dependence indicates that the 4p electrons contribute significantly to the RIXS cross section. Third-order perturbation arguments and a shake-up of valence excitations are then applied to account for the final-energy resonance in the spectra. As an alternative scenario, we discuss fluorescence-like emission processes due to 1s - > 4p transitions into a narrow continuum 4p band.

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