Spin-orbit coupling in oxides

Detail of a partially blurred periodic table of the elements. Focus on iridium.

Transition metal oxides display the most incredible range of properties, and undergo fascinating (and still poorly understood) changes in their physics and chemistry as a function of temperature and pressure. In contrast, the transition elements in the 6th period of the periodic table introduce another variable . Relatively subtle changes in the band structure can have profound consequences for the physics of a material, none more so than in the oxides of iridium.