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Journal Article

Field-induced density wave in the heavy-fermion compound CeRhIn5

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Moll, P. J. W., Zeng, B., Balicas, L., Galeski, S., Balakirev, F. F., Bauer, E. D., et al. (2015). Field-induced density wave in the heavy-fermion compound CeRhIn5. Nature Communications, 6: 6663. doi:10.1038/ncomms7663.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-795B-8
Strong electron correlations lead to a variety of distinct ground states, such as magnetism, charge order or superconductivity. Understanding the competitive or cooperative interplay between neighbouring phases is an outstanding challenge in physics. CeRhIn5 is a prototypical example of a heavy-fermion superconductor: it orders anti-ferromagnetically below 3.8 K, and moderate hydrostatic pressure suppresses the anti-ferromagnetic order inducing unconventional superconductivity. Here we show evidence for a phase transition to a state akin to a density wave (DW) under high magnetic fields (>27 T) in high-quality single crystal microstructures of CeRhIn5. The DW is signalled by a hysteretic anomaly in the in-plane resistivity accompanied by non-linear electrical transport, yet remarkably thermodynamic measurements suggest that the phase transition involves only small portions of the Fermi surface. Such a subtle order might be a common feature among correlated electron systems, reminiscent of the similarly subtle charge DW state in the cuprates.