The excitonic insulator Ta2NiSe5 experiences a first-order structural transition under pressure from rippled to flat layer-structure at Ps ~ 3 GPa, which drives the system from an almost zero-gap semiconductor to a semimetal. The pressure-induced semimetal, with lowering temperature, experiences a transition to another semimetal with a partial-gap of ~0.1-0.2 eV, accompanied with a monoclinic distortion analogous to that occurs at the excitonic transition below Ps. We argue that the partial-gap originates primarily from a symmetry-allowed hybridization of Ta-conduction and Nivalence bands due to the lattice distortion, indicative of the importance of electron-lattice coupling. The transition is suppressed with increasing pressure to Pc ~ 8 GPa. Superconductivity with a maximum Tsc ~ 1.2K emerges around Pc, likely mediated by strongly electron-coupled soft phonons. The electron-lattice coupling is as important ingredient as the excitonic instability in Ta2NiSe5.
ASJC Scopus subject areas