Letter abstract

Nature Physics 3, 703 - 706 (2007)
Published online: 9 September 2007 | doi:10.1038/nphys711

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Quantum physics

Incoherent non-Fermi-liquid scattering in a Kondo lattice

Johnpierre Paglione, T. A. Sayles, P.-C. Ho, J. R. Jeffries & M. B. Maple


One of the most notorious non-Fermi-liquid properties of both archetypal heavy-fermion systems1, 2, 3, 4 and the high-Tc copper oxide superconductors5 is an electrical resistivity that evolves linearly (rather than quadratically) with temperature, T. In the heavy-fermion superconductor CeCoIn5 (ref. 6), this linear behaviour was one of the first indications of the presence of a zero-temperature instability, or quantum critical point. Here, we report the observation of a unique control parameter of T-linear scattering in CeCoIn5, found through systematic chemical substitutions of both magnetic and non-magnetic rare-earth, R, ions into the Ce sublattice. We find that the evolution of inelastic scattering in Ce1-xRxCoIn5 is strongly dependent on the f-electron configuration of the R ion, whereas two other key properties—Cooper-pair breaking and Kondo-lattice coherence—are not. Thus, T-linear resistivity in CeCoIn5 is intimately related to the nature of incoherent scattering centres in the Kondo lattice, which provides insight into the anomalous scattering rate synonymous with quantum criticality7.

  1. Department of Physics, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA

Correspondence to: Johnpierre Paglione e-mail: paglione@physics.ucsd.edu


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