3 years ago

Ferromagnetic Quantum Critical Point in CePd$_2$P$_2$ with Pd $\rightarrow$ Ni Substitution.

W. L. Nelson, M. G. Ferrier, K. Huang, A. S. Ditter, T. E. Albrecht-Schmitt, S. A. Kozimor, J. Lezama-Pacheco, Y. Lai, R. E. Baumbach, D. Graf, V. Mocko, S. E. Bone, W. Potter, Y.-C. Chiu, G. T. Seidler

An investigation of the structural, thermodynamic, and electronic transport properties of the isoelectronic chemical substitution series Ce(Pd$_{1-x}$Ni$_x$)$_2$P$_2$ is reported, where a ferromagnetic quantum critical point is uncovered in the temperature - concentration ($T-x$) phase diagram. This behavior results from the simultaneous contraction of the unit cell volume, which tunes the relative strengths of the Kondo and RKKY interactions, and the introduction of disorder through alloying. Consistent with this picture, x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements reveal a transformation from CePd$_2$P$_2$ having a purely trivalent cerium $f$-state to CeNi$_2$P$_2$ having a small amount of tetravalent character. In the quantum critical region near $x_{\rm{cr}}$ $\approx$ 0.7, there is a breakdown of Fermi liquid behavior, signaling the influence of quantum fluctuations. Measurements of clean CePd$_2$P$_2$ furthermore show that applied pressure has a similar initial effect to alloying on the ferromagnetic order. From these results, CePd$_2$P$_2$ emerges as a keystone system to test theories such as the Belitz-Kirkpatrick-Vojta model for ferromagnetic quantum criticality, where distinct behaviors are expected in the dirty and clean limits.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.04000

DOI: arXiv:1801.04000v1

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