Muon-spin-relaxation and inelastic neutron scattering investigations of the caged-type Kondo semimetals: CeT2Al10 (T = Fe, Ru and Os)

D. T. Adroja, A. D. Hillier, Y. Muro, T. Takabatake, A. M. Strydom, A. Bhattacharyya, A. Daoud-Aladin, J. W. Taylor

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, Ce-based caged-type compounds with the general formula CeT 2Al10 (T = Fe, Ru and Os) have generated considerable interest due to the Kondo semiconducting paramagnetic ground state (down to 40 mK) observed in CeFe2Al10 and anomalously high magnetic ordering temperature with spin gap formation at low temperatures in Kondo semimetals CeRu2Al10 and CeOs2Al10. The formation of long-range magnetic ordering out of the Kondo semiconducting/semimetallic state itself is extraordinary and these are the first examples of this enigmatic coexistence of electronic ground states. These compounds also exhibit strong anisotropy in magnetic and transport properties, which has been explained on the basis of single-ion crystal electric field anisotropy in the presence of strongly anisotropic hybridization between localized 4f-electron and conduction electrons. Furthermore, they also exhibit a remarkable modification of magnetic and transport properties with doping on Ce, or T or Al sites. In this article, we briefly discuss the bulk properties of these compounds, giving a detailed discussion on our muon-spin-relaxation (μSR) investigations and inelastic neutron scattering (INS) results. We present the μSR and the INS results of Ce(Ru1-xFe x)2Al10 and CeOs2Al10 as well as the μSR results of NdFe2Al10, NdOs 2Al10 and YFe2Al10 for comparison. The zero-field μSR spectra clearly reveal coherent two-frequency oscillations at low temperatures in CeT2Al10 (T = Ru and Os) and Ce(Ru1-xFex)2Al10 (x = 0.3-0.5), which confirms the long-range magnetic ordering with a reduced moment of the Ce. On the other hand, the μSR spectra of Ce(Ru1-xFe x)2Al10 (x = 0.8 and 1) down to 1.2 and 0.04 K, respectively, exhibit a temperature independent Kubo-Toyabe (KT) term confirming a paramagnetic ground state. INS measurements on CeT 2Al10 (T = Ru and Os) exhibit sharp inelastic excitations at 8 and 11 meV at 5 K due to an opening of a gap in the spin excitation spectrum. A spin gap of 8-12 meV at 7 K, with a strong Q-dependent intensity, is observed in the magnetic ordered state of Ce(Ru1-xFe x)2Al10 with x = 0.3 and 0.5 which remarkably extends into the paramagnetic state of x = 0.8 and 1. The observation of a spin gap in the paramagnetic samples (x = 0.8 and 1) is an interesting finding in this study and it challenges our understanding of the origin of the semiconducting energy gap in CeT2Al10 (T = Ru and Os) in terms of a hybridization gap opening only a small part of the Fermi surface, gapped spin waves or a spin-dimer gap. Furthermore, the μSR study of NdFe2Al10 below TN exhibits a clear sign of two frequency oscillations, which are absent in NdOs2Al10. Moreover, the μSR study of YFe2Al10, which has been proposed as a compound exhibiting ferromagnetic critical fluctuations did not reveal any clear sign of critical magnetic fluctuations down to 60 mK, within the ISIS μSR time window, which is unexpected for a T → 0 quantum phase transition (QPT).

Original languageEnglish
Article number068505
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Mathematical Physics


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