Slow dynamics of disordered zigzag chain molecules in layered LiVS2 under electron irradiation

Naoyuki Katayama, Keita Kojima, Tomoki Yamaguchi, Sosuke Hattori, Shinya Tamura, Koji Ohara, Shintaro Kobayashi, Koudai Sugimoto, Yukinori Ohta, Koh Saitoh, Hiroshi Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic instabilities in transition metal compounds often spontaneously form orbital molecules, which consist of orbital-coupled metal ions at low temperature. Recent local structural studies utilizing the pair distribution function revealed that preformed orbital molecules appear disordered even in the high-temperature paramagnetic phase. However, it is unclear whether preformed orbital molecules are dynamic or static. Here, we provide clear experimental evidence of the slow dynamics of disordered orbital molecules realized in the high-temperature paramagnetic phase of LiVS2, which exhibits vanadium trimerization upon cooling below 314 K. Unexpectedly, the preformed orbital molecules appear as a disordered zigzag chain that fluctuate in both time and space under electron irradiation. Our findings should advance studies on soft matter physics realized in an inorganic material due to disordered orbital molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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