Muon spin relaxation and nonmagnetic Kondo state Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Muon spin relaxation experiments have been carried out in the Kondo compound PrInAg_2. The zero-field muon relaxation rate is found to be independent of temperature between 0.1 and 10 K, which rules out a magnetic origin (spin freezing or a conventional Kondo effect) for the previously-observed specific heat anomaly at \sim0.5 K. The low-temperature muon relaxation is quantitatively consistent with nuclear magnetism including hyperfine enhancement of the ^{141}Pr nuclear moment. This is strong evidence against a Pr^{3+} electronic magnetic moment, and for the \Gamma_3 crystalline-electric-field-split ground state required for a nonmagnetic route to heavy-electron behavior. The data imply the existence of an exchange interaction between neighboring Pr^{3+} ions of the order of 0.2 K in temperature units, which should be taken into account in a complete theory of a nonmagnetic Kondo effect in PrInAg_2.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000