Strong valence fluctuation in the quantum critical heavy fermion superconductor β-YbAlB4: A hard x-ray photoemission study

M. Okawa, M. Matsunami, K. Ishizaka, R. Eguchi, M. Taguchi, A. Chainani, Y. Takata, M. Yabashi, K. Tamasaku, Y. Nishino, T. Ishikawa, K. Kuga, N. Horie, S. Nakatsuji, S. Shin

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Abstract

Electronic structures of the quantum critical superconductor β-YbAlB4 and its polymorph α-YbAlB4 are investigated by using bulk-sensitive hard x-ray photoemission spectroscopy. From the Yb 3d core level spectra, the values of the Yb valence are estimated to be ∼2.73 and ∼2.75 for α- and β-YbAlB4, respectively, thus providing clear evidence for valence fluctuations. The valence band spectra of these compounds also show Yb2 + peaks at the Fermi level. These observations establish an unambiguous case of a strong mixed valence at quantum criticality for the first time among heavy fermion systems, calling for a novel scheme for a quantum critical model beyond the conventional Doniach picture in β-YbAlB4.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247201
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume104
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Okawa, M., Matsunami, M., Ishizaka, K., Eguchi, R., Taguchi, M., Chainani, A., Takata, Y., Yabashi, M., Tamasaku, K., Nishino, Y., Ishikawa, T., Kuga, K., Horie, N., Nakatsuji, S., & Shin, S. (2010). Strong valence fluctuation in the quantum critical heavy fermion superconductor β-YbAlB4: A hard x-ray photoemission study. Physical Review Letters, 104(24), [247201]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.247201