Crystal electric field effects and heavy-fermion behavior in cubic PrCu2Au3 compound

Michael O. Ogunbunmi, André M. Strydom

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We report the crystal structure as well as the magnetic, electronic and transport properties of PrCu2Au3 which crystallizes in the MgCu4Sn-type structure with the cubic space group F4¯3m (No. 216). In this structure, the Pr3+ ion sits on a lattice site with the cubic Td symmetry which dictates the crystal electric field (CEF) splitting of the Hund's 3H4 ground multiplet into four levels. The sample has been investigated by measurements of temperature dependences of specific heat, Cp(T), electrical resistivity, ρ(T), magnetic susceptibility, χ(T), isothermal magnetization, M(B,T), thermal conductivity, κT(T) and thermoelectric power, S(T). χ(T) follows a Curie-Weiss behavior above 100 K with an effective magnetic moment, μeff = 3.3 μB/Pr which is comparable to a calculated value of 3.58 μB/Pr for a free Pr3+ ion and a Weiss temperature, θCW = 15.70 K indicating a dominant ferromagnetic interaction. From the analysis of M(B,T) and the 4f-electron derived specific heat (C4f(T)) results, the CEF ground state is a Γ5 magnetic triplet and the CEF energy scheme is presented. The Sommerfeld coefficient, γ estimated from the low-temperature C4f(T) is 304 mJ/(mol K2) indicating a mass enhancement of the conduction electrons at low temperatures. Further analysis of the heavy fermion properties based on the Sommerfeld-Wilson ratio supports the formation of a heavy fermion state in PrCu2Au3. However, the absence of an enhancement in S/T at low temperatures possibly suggests a weak correlation between the conduction electrons and the 4f-electrons at the Fermi energy. The thermal transport properties suggest that PrCu2Au3 is likely a compensated metal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156015
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2020


  • Compensated metal
  • Crystalline electric field
  • Heavy-fermion behavior
  • MgCuSn-Type structure
  • PrCuAu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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