Current-induced strong diamagnetism in the Mott insulator Ca2RuO4

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Mott insulators can host a surprisingly diverse set of quantum phenomena when their frozen electrons are perturbed by various stimuli. Superconductivity, metal-insulator transition, and colossal magnetoresistance induced by element substitution, pressure, and magnetic field are prominent examples. Here we report strong diamagnetism in the Mott insulator calcium ruthenate (Ca2RuO4) induced by dc electric current. The application of a current density of merely 1 ampere per centimeter squared induces diamagnetism stronger than that in other nonsuperconducting materials. This change is coincident with changes in the transport properties as the system becomes semimetallic. These findings suggest that dc current may be a means to control the properties of materials in the vicinity of a Mott insulating transition.

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