Hierarchical stripe phases in IrT e2 driven by competition between Ir dimerization and Te bonding

Jixia Dai, Kristjan Haule, J. J. Yang, Y. S. Oh, S. W. Cheong, Weida Wu

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25 Scopus citations


Layered 5d transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) IrTe2 is distinguished from the traditional TMDs (such as NbSe2) by the existence of multiple charge-density wave (CDW)-like stripe phases and superconductivity at low temperatures. Despite intensive studies, there is still no consensus on the physical origin of the stripe phases or even the ground state modulation for this 5d material. Here we present atomic-scale evidence from scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) that the ground state of IrTe2 is a q=1/6 stripe phase, identical to that of the Se-doped compound. Furthermore, our data suggest that the multiple transitions and stripe phases are driven by the intralayer Ir-Ir dimerization that competes against the interlayer Te-Te bonding. The competition results in a unified phase diagram with a series of hierarchical modulated stripe phases, strikingly similar to the renowned "devil's staircase" phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235121
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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