Extensive calculations revealed that the calcium-iridium-oxygen compound CaIrO3 is a Slater-type insulator, putting to rest the debate of whether the insulating nature of the metal oxide is Mott-type or Slater-type. While both types are insulators, the insulating properties in Mott types arise from electron repulsion while in Slater types magnetic ordering plays a prominent role. Through a series of calculations, the team described the types of interactions between the various atoms in the oxide. Their calculations took temperature into consideration, because it is known that above a certain temperature a Mott insulator will remain insulating while in the Slater system the magnetic ordering will be destroyed and become metallic. Researchers found that the metal oxide underwent a change at around -46 °F, a change consistent with the Slater-type. Knowing the insulator type is vital for determining further properties and uses of a particular metal oxide.
Nature of the Insulating Ground State of the 5d Postperovskite CaIrO3