Campi, G.; Poccia, N.; Joseph, B.; Bianconi, A.; Mishra, S.; Lee, J.; Roy, S.; Nugroho, A.A.; Buchholz, M.; Braden, M.; Trabant, C.; Zozulya, A.; Müller, L.; Viefhaus, J.; Schüßler-Langeheine, C.; Sprung, M.; Ricci, A.: Direct Visualization of Spatial Inhomogeneity of Spin Stripes Order in La1.72Sr0.28NiO4. Condensed Matter 4 (2019), p. 7771/1-10
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In several strongly correlated electron systems, the short range ordering of defects, charge and local lattice distortions are found to show complex inhomogeneous spatial distributions. There is growing evidence that such inhomogeneity plays a fundamental role in unique functionality of quantum complex materials. La1.72Sr0.28NiO4 is a prototypical strongly correlated perovskite showing spin stripes order. In this work we present the spatial distribution of the spin order inhomogeneity by applying micro X-ray diffraction to La1.72Sr0.28NiO4, mapping the spin-density-wave order below the 120 K onset temperature. We find that the spin-density-wave order shows the formation of nanoscale puddles with large spatial fluctuations. The nano-puddle density changes on the microscopic scale forming a multiscale phase separation extending from nanoscale to micron scale with scale-free distribution. Indeed spin-density-wave striped puddles are disconnected by spatial regions with negligible spin-density-wave order. The present work highlights the complex spatial nanoscale phase separation of spin stripes in nickelate perovskites and opens new perspectives of local spin order control by strain