Mechanism for the occurrence of paramagnetic planes within magnetically ordered cerium systems

Phys. Rev. B 38, 9132 – Published 1 November 1988
Nicholas Kioussis, Bernard R. Cooper, and Amitava Banerjea


Hybridization of moderately delocalized f electrons with band electrons gives rise to a highly anisotropic two-ion interaction. Previously it has been shown that such an interaction explains the experimentally observed unusual magnetic behavior of CeBi, yielding a phase transition from a higher-temperature type-I (↑↓) to a lower-temperature type-IA (↑↑↓↓) antiferromagnetic structure. If the hybridization-mediated interaction is the key to understanding the magnetic behavior of such moderately delocalized f-electron systems, we should expect to be able to understand on this basis the even more unusual magnetic behavior of CeSb. In CeSb, there is a sequence of magnetic structures in which the higher-temperature structures involve a periodic stacking of paramagnetic {001} planes alternating with magnetically ordered {001} planes of [001]-moment alignment. In this paper we show that such a coexistence of paramagnetic and magnetically ordered Ce3+ sites can be understood on the basis of the hybridization-mediated interionic interaction when there are cubic crystal-field (CF) interactions of comparable strength. The tendency to form paramagnetic planes is found to increase with increasing CF strength (Γ7 ground state); and the stability of the up-down paramagnetic plane arrangement at high temperatures is shown to arise from the reconciliation of the magnetic ordering with the CF interactions. We also find that for a certain range of parameters a different novel situation occurs, with a fully nonmagnetic (singlet) ground state for the Ce3+ ion. This singlet state is not Kondo-like, and occurs in such a way that the system would be expected to fluctuate between two differently polarized states, one of which is the singlet state.


  • Received 23 May 1988
  • Published in the issue dated 1 November 1988

© 1988 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Nicholas Kioussis, Bernard R. Cooper, and Amitava Banerjea

  • Department of Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506

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