Quantum criticality in YbNiGe3 and off-center Rattling in the Thermoelectric Ferromagnet Eu8Ga16Ge30 : Pressure-Dependent Spectr

11/06/2014 - 16:00 to 17:00
Prof. Marcos Avila - CCN ­ Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo André, SP
Local: Sala de Seminários José Roberto Leite - Ed. Alessandro Volta - bloco C Sala 110

We highlight the main results of recent collaborative works [1-3] involving pressure-dependent spectroscopic investigations on our flux-grown single crystals of the title compounds. YbNiGe3 and YbNiSi3 form a model quantum critical system, in which the Ge compound shows strong Yb valence fuctuations and the Si compound is an anti-ferromagnetic Kondo lattice with TN = 5.1 K and moderate heavy fermion behavior. The evolution of the Yb valence state in both compounds under pressure up to 15.6 GPa at 300 K was investigated by means of x-ray absorption spectroscopy in La1 partial fuorescence yield mode (PFY-XAS) and resonant x-ray emission spectroscopy (RXES) around the Yb L3 absorption edge [1].  A mean valence of n = 2.52 ±

0.01 is obtained for YbNiGe3 at ambient pressure. The Yb valence increases with pressure until an almost saturated value of n ~ 2.87 is reached at 15.6 GPa, implying that the system should cross a quantum critical point (estimated at around 8 GPa) without achieving a full trivalent state. In contrast, the Yb valence in YbNiSi3 is nearly 3 at ambient pressure, with almost no temperature dependence.

  b-Eu8Ga16Ge30 is a unique ferromagnetic clathrate compound (TC = 36

K) which features rattling and tunneling phenomena related to the Eu2+ ions off-center, anharmonic vibrations, with consequent glass-like thermal conductivity. Temperature- and pressure-dependent x-ray powder diffraction (XRD), x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES), and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) measurements have been conducted on the compound at two different synchrotron radiation facilities, using different experimental procedures [2,3]. In both cases a pressure-induced amorphization around 18 GPa and simultaneous collapse of the magnetic order has been found, although unexpected diverences were observed in terms of presence/absence of recrystallization after pressure release, and presence/absence of Eu valence shift accompanying the amorphization transition.

We thank the financial support of FAPESP, CNPq and UFABC.


[1] H. Sato, H. Yamaoka, Y. Utsumi, H. Nagata, M. A. Avila, R. A.

Ribeiro, K. Umeo, T. Takabatake, Y. Zekko, J. Mizuki, J. F. Lin, N.

Hiraoka, H. Ishii, K. D. Tsuei, H. Namatame, and M. Taniguchi, Phys.

Rev. B 89 (2014) 045112.


[2] T. Onimaru, S. Tsutsui, M. Mizumaki, N. Kawamura, N. Ishimatsu, M.

A. Avila, S. Yamamoto, H. Yamane, K. Suekuni, K. Umeo, T. Kume, S.

Nakano, and T. Takabatake, J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 83 (2014) 013701.


[3] J. R. L. Mardegan, G. Fabbris, L. S. I. Veiga, C. Adriano, M. A.

Avila, D. Haskel, and C. Giles, Phys. Rev. B 88 (2013) 144105.