Letter abstract

Nature Physics 2, 469 - 472 (2006)

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Materials physics

Magneto-elastic lattice collapse in YCo5

H. Rosner1, D. Koudela2, U. Schwarz1, A. Handstein2, M. Hanfland3, I. Opahle2, K. Koepernik2, M. D. Kuz'min2, K.-H. Müller2, J. A. Mydosh1 and M. Richter2


The isomorphic collapse of crystalline lattices under pressure is a rare and intriguing phenomenon–the most famous examples being samarium sulphide and cerium metal. Both lattices are cubic under ambient conditions and collapse isomorphically under pressure, remaining cubic with approx15% volume reduction1, 2, 3. In SmS the transition results from a change of the 4f chemical valence. The collapse in Ce is connected with the altering contributions of the 4f electrons to the chemical bonding, the details of which are currently much debated4, 5. In contrast, YCo5 is a hexagonal metallic compound with a stable valence and no 4f electrons. Here, we present a combination of high-pressure X-ray diffraction measurements and density functional electronic-structure calculations to demonstrate an entirely different type of isomorphic transition under hydrostatic pressure of 19 GPa. Our results suggest that the lattice collapse is driven by magnetic interactions and can be characterized as a first-order Lifshitz transition, where the Fermi surface changes topologically. These studies support the existence of a bistable bonding state due to the magneto-elastic interaction.

  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe, Nöthnitzer Stras zlige 40, 01187 Dresden, Germany
  2. IFW Dresden, PO Box 270116, 01171 Dresden, Germany
  3. ESRF, BP220, 38043 Grenoble, France

Correspondence to: H. Rosner1 e-mail: rosner@cpfs.mpg.de

Correspondence to: J. A. Mydosh1 Present address: Institute of Physics II, University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany


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