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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 115(21): 5343-5347, 2018 05 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29739886


The nature of the pairing symmetry of the first heavy fermion superconductor CeCu2Si2 has recently become the subject of controversy. While CeCu2Si2 was generally believed to be a d-wave superconductor, recent low-temperature specific heat measurements showed evidence for fully gapped superconductivity, contrary to the nodal behavior inferred from earlier results. Here, we report London penetration depth measurements, which also reveal fully gapped behavior at very low temperatures. To explain these seemingly conflicting results, we propose a fully gapped [Formula: see text] band-mixing pairing state for CeCu2Si2, which yields very good fits to both the superfluid density and specific heat, as well as accounting for a sign change of the superconducting order parameter, as previously concluded from inelastic neutron scattering results.

Sci Adv ; 3(6): e1601667, 2017 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28691082


In exotic superconductors, including high-Tc copper oxides, the interactions mediating electron Cooper pairing are widely considered to have a magnetic rather than a conventional electron-phonon origin. Interest in this exotic pairing was initiated by the 1979 discovery of heavy-fermion superconductivity in CeCu2Si2, which exhibits strong antiferromagnetic fluctuations. A hallmark of unconventional pairing by anisotropic repulsive interactions is that the superconducting energy gap changes sign as a function of the electron momentum, often leading to nodes where the gap goes to zero. We report low-temperature specific heat, thermal conductivity, and magnetic penetration depth measurements in CeCu2Si2, demonstrating the absence of gap nodes at any point on the Fermi surface. Moreover, electron irradiation experiments reveal that the superconductivity survives even when the electron mean free path becomes substantially shorter than the superconducting coherence length. This indicates that superconductivity is robust against impurities, implying that there is no sign change in the gap function. These results show that, contrary to long-standing belief, heavy electrons with extremely strong Coulomb repulsions can condense into a fully gapped s-wave superconducting state, which has an on-site attractive pairing interaction.

Sci Adv ; 2(9): e1600835, 2016 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27626073


Low-temperature refrigeration is of crucial importance in fundamental research of condensed matter physics, because the investigations of fascinating quantum phenomena, such as superconductivity, superfluidity, and quantum criticality, often require refrigeration down to very low temperatures. Currently, cryogenic refrigerators with (3)He gas are widely used for cooling below 1 K. However, usage of the gas has been increasingly difficult because of the current worldwide shortage. Therefore, it is important to consider alternative methods of refrigeration. We show that a new type of refrigerant, the super-heavy electron metal YbCo2Zn20, can be used for adiabatic demagnetization refrigeration, which does not require (3)He gas. This method has a number of advantages, including much better metallic thermal conductivity compared to the conventional insulating refrigerants. We also demonstrate that the cooling performance is optimized in Yb1-x Sc x Co2Zn20 by partial Sc substitution, with x ~ 0.19. The substitution induces chemical pressure that drives the materials to a zero-field quantum critical point. This leads to an additional enhancement of the magnetocaloric effect in low fields and low temperatures, enabling final temperatures well below 100 mK. This performance has, up to now, been restricted to insulators. For nearly a century, the same principle of using local magnetic moments has been applied for adiabatic demagnetization cooling. This study opens new possibilities of using itinerant magnetic moments for cryogen-free refrigeration.

Elétrons , Magnetismo , Metais/química , Refrigeração/métodos , Temperatura Baixa , Condutividade Elétrica , Transporte de Elétrons , Transição de Fase , Teoria Quântica , Refrigeração/instrumentação
Phys Rev Lett ; 106(24): 246401, 2011 Jun 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21770582


We report on the magnetic excitation spectrum in the normal state of the heavy-fermion superconductor CeCu92)Si(2) on approaching the quantum critical point (QCP). The magnetic response in the superconducting state is characterized by a transfer of spectral weight to energies above a spin excitation gap. In the normal state, a slowing-down of the quasielastic magnetic response is observed, which conforms to the scaling expected for a QCP of spin-density-wave type. This interpretation is substantiated by an analysis of specific heat data and the momentum dependence of the magnetic excitation spectrum. Our study represents the first direct observation of an almost critical slowing-down of the normal state magnetic response at a QCP when suppressing superconductivity. The results strongly imply that the coupling of Cooper pairs in CeCu(2)Si(2) is mediated by overdamped spin fluctuations.