"Layer-resolved many-electron interactions in delafossite PdCoO2 from standing-wave photoemission spectroscopy"

Qiyang Lu: Henrique Martins, Juhan Matthias Kahk, Gaurab Rimal, Seongshik Oh, Inna Vishik, Matthew Brahlek, William C. Chueh, Johannes Lischner & Slavomir Nemsak; Communications Physics, 06/21/21.

Additional Authors: Henrique Martins, Juhan Matthias Kahk, Gaurab Rimal, Seongshik Oh, Inna Vishik, Matthew Brahlek, William C. Chueh, Johannes Lischner & Slavomir Nemsak

Abstract:

When a three-dimensional material is constructed by stacking different two-dimensional layers into an ordered structure, new and unique physical properties can emerge. An example is the delafossite PdCoO2, which consists of alternating layers of metallic Pd and Mott-insulating CoO2 sheets. To understand the nature of the electronic coupling between the layers that gives rise to the unique properties of PdCoO2, we revealed its layer-resolved electronic structure combining standing-wave X-ray photoemission spectroscopy and ab initio many-body calculations. Experimentally, we have decomposed the measured VB spectrum into contributions from Pd and CoO2 layers. Computationally, we find that many-body interactions in Pd and CoO2 layers are highly different. Holes in the CoO2 layer interact strongly with charge-transfer excitons in the same layer, whereas holes in the Pd layer couple to plasmons in the Pd layer. Interestingly, we find that holes in states hybridized across both layers couple to both types of excitations (charge-transfer excitons or plasmons), with the intensity of photoemission satellites being proportional to the projection of the state onto a given layer. This establishes satellites as a sensitive probe for inter-layer hybridization. These findings pave the way towards a better understanding of complex many-electron interactions in layered quantum materials.