Heavy fermions: Dimensions are critical

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Custers et al. provide a new materials physics solution to the question of whether Kondo destruction requires two dimensions. The study has found that a new heavy-fermion compound Ce3Pd20Si6 is cubic, and hence manifestly 3D, which exhibits all the qualities of Kondo destruction. A careful low-temperature transport and specific heat measurements show all the hallmarks of Kondo breakdown, a linear resistivity, a jump in the Hall constant and a logarithmic temperature dependence of the specific heat. It is also found that just prior to the antiferromagnetic phase transition, Ce 3Pd20Si6 develops a staggered quadrupolar order, in which the shape of the cerium atoms deforms in an alternating pattern across the crystal. In a magnetic field, the different shapes of the cerium atoms have different magnetic polarizabilities, so that in the presence of staggered quadrupolar order, a field induces a small antiferromagnetic density wave.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-187
Number of pages3
JournalNature materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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