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Journal Article

Specific heat of concentrated kondo systems: (La, Ce)Al2 and CeAl2

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Bredl, C. D., Steglich, F., & Schotte, K. D. (1978). Specific heat of concentrated kondo systems: (La, Ce)Al2 and CeAl2. Zeitschrift für Physik B, 29(4), 327-340. doi:10.1007/BF01324030.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-BFDC-0
We report on specific heat measurements of (La1−x Ce x )Al2 samples, with 1.5 a/o≦x≦100 a/o, performed in magnetic fields of up to 5 T between 0.3 and 10 K. In the Ce rich alloys, and especially in CeAl2, aλ-type peak of an antiferromagnetic phase transition, and at lower temperatures spin waves and very large electronic contributions are clearly visible. In higher magnetic fields, that is when antiferromagnetic order can be suppressed, the specific heat of the alloys exhibits a broadened Schottky peak. All these phenomena add up tok ln 2, i.e. to the correct entropy change per single Ce3+ ion in itsΓ 7 crystal field ground state. We interpret experimental results as an interplay between cooperative magnetism and the single-ion Kondo effect which describes a gradual turning off of one magnetic moment. The broadening of the Schottky peak is directly related to the Kondo temperatureT K , which we determine with a simple “resonance level model”.T K increases by an order of magnitude whenx increases from 1.5 a/o to 100 a/o. This is interpreted as caused by a lattice contraction. A quadraticx dependence of the Néel temperature suggests that (forT≲T K ) stable Ce moments can only exist through pair interactions. The very large (and almost field independent) specific heat term linear in temperature with a coefficientγ=135 mJ/K2 mole for CeAl2 is attributed to the Kondo effect—still present in the antiferromagnetically ordered state. Our evaluation of the experimental data is backed by a molecular field theory for a simplified antiferromagnetic structure combined with the simplest possible Kondo theory.