Gapped itinerant spin excitations account for missing entropy in the hidden-order state of URu2Si2

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1038/nphys522
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TypeArticle
Journal titleNature physics
ISSN17452473
Volume3
Issue2
Pages9699; # of pages: 4
AbstractMany correlated electron materials, such as high-temperature superconductors1, geometrically frustrated oxides2 and low-dimensional magnets3, 4, are still objects of fruitful study because of the unique properties that arise owing to poorly understood many-body effects. Heavy-fermion metals5—materials that have high effective electron masses due to those effects—represent a class of materials with exotic properties, ranging from unusual magnetism, unconventional superconductivity and 'hidden' order parameters6. The heavy-fermion superconductor URu2Si2 has held the attention of physicists for the past two decades owing to the presence of a 'hidden-order' phase below 17.5 K. Neutron scattering measurements indicate that the ordered moment is 0.03muB, much too small to account for the large heat-capacity anomaly at 17.5 K. We present recent neutron scattering experiments that unveil a new piece of this puzzle—the spin-excitation spectrum above 17.5 K exhibits well-correlated, itinerant-like spin excitations up to at least 10 meV, emanating from incommensurate wavevectors. The large entropy change associated with the presence of an energy gap in the excitations explains the reduction in the electronic specific heat through the transition.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Institute for Biological Sciences; NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute; NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre
Peer reviewedNo
Identifier20624037
NPARC number12327854
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Record identifier866dbcbf-f8a4-41b5-be3b-6aa7fc66cb3f
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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