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Current theoretical studies of electronic correlations in transition metal oxides typically only account for the local repulsion between d-electrons even if oxygen ligand p-states are an explicit part of the effective Hamiltonian. Interatomic interactions such as U-pd between d- and (ligand) p-electrons, as well as the local interaction between p-electrons, are neglected. Often, the relative d-p orbital splitting has to be adjusted 'ad hoc' on the basis of the experimental evidence. By applying the merger of local density approximation and dynamical mean field theory to the prototypical case of the three-band Emery dp model for the cuprates, we demonstrate that, without any 'ad hoc' adjustment of the orbital splitting, the charge transfer insulating state is stabilized by the interatomic interaction U-pd. Our study hence shows how to improve realistic material calculations that explicitly include the p-orbitals.

In this thesis the electronic and magnetic structure of the transition metal oxyhalides TiOCl, TiOBr and VOCl is investigated. The main experimental methods are photoemission (PES) and x-ray absorption (XAS) spectroscopy as well as resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). The results are compared to density-functional theory, and spectral functions from dynamical mean-field theory and different kinds of model calculations. Questions addressed here are those of the dimensionality of the magnetic and electronic interactions, the suitability of the oxyhalides as prototypical strongly correlated model systems, and the possibility to induce a filling-controlled insulator-metal transition. It turns out that TiOCl is a quasi-one-dimensional system with non-negligible two-dimensional coupling, while the one-dimensional character is already quite suppressed in TiOBr. In VOCl no signatures of such one-dimensional behavior remain, and it is two-dimensional. In all cases, frustrations induced by the crystal lattice govern the magnetic and electronic properties. As it turns out, although the applied theoretical approaches display improvements compared to previous studies, the differences to the experimental data still are at least partially of qualitative instead of quantitative nature. Notably, using RIXS, it is possible for the first time in TiOCl to unambiguously identify a two-spinon excitation, and the previously assumed energy scale of magnetic excitations can be confirmed. By intercalation of alkali metal atoms (Na, K) the oxyhalides can be doped with electrons, which can be evidenced and even quantified using x-ray PES. In these experiments, also a particular vertical arrangement of dopants is observed, which can be explained, at least within experimental accuracy, using the model of a so-called "polar catastrophe". However, no transition into a metallic phase can be observed upon doping, but this can be understood qualitatively and quantitatively within an alloy Hubbard model due to the impurity potential of the dopants. Furthermore, in a canonical way a transfer of spectral weight can be observed, which is a characteristic feature of strongly correlated electron systems. Overall, it can be stated that the transition metal oxyhalides actually can be regarded as prototypical Mott insulators, yet with a rich phase diagram which is far from being fully understood.

Two-particle excitations, such as spin and charge excitations, play a key role in high-Tc cuprate superconductors (HTSC). Due to the antiferromagnetism of the parent compound the magnetic excitations are supposed to be directly related to the mechanism of superconductivity. In particular, the so-called resonance mode is a promising candidate for the pairing glue, a bosonic excitation mediating the electronic pairing. In addition, its interactions with itinerant electrons may be responsible for some of the observed properties of HTSC. Hence, getting to the bottom of the resonance mode is crucial for a deeper understanding of the cuprate materials . To analyze the corresponding two-particle correlation functions we develop in the present thesis a new, non-perturbative and parameter-free technique for T=0 which is based on the Variational Cluster Approach (VCA, an embedded cluster method for one-particle Green's functions). Guided by the spirit of the VCA we extract an effective electron-hole vertex from an isolated cluster and use a fully renormalized bubble susceptibility chi0 including the VCA one-particle propagators.Within our new approach, the magnetic excitations of HTSC are shown to be reproduced for the Hubbard model within the relevant strong-coupling regime. Exceptionally, the famous resonance mode occurring in the underdoped regime within the superconductivity-induced gap of spin-flip electron-hole excitations is obtained. Its intensity and hourglass dispersion are in good overall agreement with experiments. Furthermore, characteristic features such as the position in energy of the resonance mode and the difference of the imaginary part of the susceptibility in the superconducting and the normal states are in accord with Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS) experiments. For the first time, a strongly-correlated parameter-free calculation revealed these salient magnetic properties supporting the S=1 magnetic exciton scenario for the resonance mode. Besides the INS data on magnetic properties further important new insights were gained recently via ARPES (Angle-Resolved Photoemission-Spectroscopy) and Raman experiments which disclosed a quite different doping dependence of the antinodal compared to the near-nodal gap. This thesis provides an approach to the Raman response similar to the magnetic case for inspecting this gap dichotomy. In agreement with experiments and one-particle data obtained in the VCA, we recover the antinodal gap decreasing and the near-nodal gap increasing as a function of doping. Hence, our results prove the Hubbard model to account for these salient gap features. In summary, we develop a two-particle cluster approach which is appropriate for the strongly-correlated regime and contains no free parameter. Our results obtained with this new approach combined with the phase diagram and the one-particle excitations obtained in the VCA strongly constitute a Hubbard model description of HTSC cuprate materials.

We investigate the single particle static and dynamic properties at zero temperature within the Hubbard an three-band-Hubbard model for the superconducting copper oxides. Based on the recently proposed self-energy functional approach (SFA) [M.Potthoff, Eur. Phys. J. B 32 429 (2003)], we present an extension of the cluster-perturbation theory (CPT) to systems with spontaneous broken symmetry. Our method accounts for both short-range correlations and long-range order. Short-range correlations are accurately taken into account via the exact diagonalization of finite clusters. Long-range order is described by variational optimization of a ficticious symmetry-breaking field. In comparison with related cluster methods, our approach is more flexible and, for a given cluster size, less demanding numerically, especially at zero temperature. An application of the method to the antiferromagnetic phase of the Hubbard model at half-filling shows good agreement with results from quantum Monte-Carlo calculations. We demonstrate that the variational extension of the cluster-perturbation theory is crucial to reproduce salient features of the single-particle spectrum of the insulating cuprates. Comparison of the dispersion of the low-energy excitations with recent experimental results of angular resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) allows us to fix a consistent parameter set for the one-band Hubbard model with an additional hopping parameter t' along the lattice diagonal. The doping dependence of the single-particle excitations is studied within the t-t-U Hubbard model with special emphasis on the electron doped compounds. We show, that the ARPES results on the band structure and the Fermi surface of Nd{2-x}Ce_xCuOCl_{4-\delta} are naturally obtained within the t-t-U Hubbard model without further need for readjustment or fitting of parameters, as proposed in recent theoretical considerations. We present a theory for the photon energy and polarization dependence of ARPES intensities from the CuO2 plane in the framework of strong correlation models. The importance of surface states for the observed experimental facts is considered. We show that for electric field vector in the CuO_2 plane the ‘radiation characteristics’ of the O 2p_{\sigma} and Cu 3d_{x^2-y^2} orbitals are strongly peaked along the CuO_2 plane, i.e. most photoelectrons are emitted at grazing angles. This suggests that surface states play an important role in the observed ARPES spectra, consistent with recent data from Sr_2CuCl_2O_2. We show that a combination of surface state dispersion and Fano resonance between surface state and the continuum of LEED-states may produce a precipitous drop in the observed photoelectron current as a function of in-plane momentum, which may well mimic a Fermi-surface crossing. This effect may explain the simultaneous ‘observation’ of a hole-like and an electron-like Fermi surfaces in Bi_2Sr_2CaCu_2O_{8+\delta} at different photon energies.