- Valence modulations in CeRuSn
- Physical Review B
- Volume | Issue number
- 90 | 4
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
CeRuSn exhibits an extraordinary room temperature structure at 300 K with the coexistence of two types of Ce ions, namely trivalent Ce3+ and intermediate-valent Ce(4−δ)+, in a metallic environment. The ordered arrangement of these two Ce types on specific crystallographic sites results in a doubling of the unit cell along the c axis with respect to the basic monoclinic CeCoAl-type structure. Below room temperature, structural modulation transitions with very broad hysteresis have been reported from measurements of various bulk properties. X-ray diffraction revealed that at low temperatures the doubling of the CeCoAl-type structure is replaced by a different modulated ground state, approximating a near tripling of the basic CeCoAl cell. The transition is accompanied by a significant contraction of the c axis. We present new x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy data at the Ce L3 absorption edge, measured on a freshly cleaved surface of a CeRuSn single crystal. In contrast to our previous report, the new data exhibit small but significant variations as a function of temperature that are consistent with a transition of a fraction of Ce3+ ions to the intermediate valence state, analogous to the γ→α transition in elemental cerium, when cooling through the structural transitions of CeRuSn. Such results in a valence-modulated state.
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