Anomalous orbital motion of electrons in an iridium oxide discovered by synchrotron x-ray

Release:Mar 6, 2009
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Electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom act like waves, rather than particles. Recently, Professor Hidenori Takagi and Dr. B.J.Kim of the department of Advanced Materials, University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Dr. T. Arima and H. Ohsumi of RIKEN, hit on the idea of using resonant x-ray diffraction to probe the interference between these orbiting electron waves. Using a synchrotron x-ray source at SPring-8, the group applied this technique to a recently synthesized iridium oxide, Sr2IrO4, and discovered an anomalous orbital motion of the electrons in iridium.