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Science ; 351(6272): 485-8, 2016 Jan 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26823424


The smooth disappearance of antiferromagnetic order in strongly correlated metals commonly furnishes the development of unconventional superconductivity. The canonical heavy-electron compound YbRh2Si2 seems to represent an apparent exception from this quantum critical paradigm in that it is not a superconductor at temperature T ≥ 10 millikelvin (mK). Here we report magnetic and calorimetric measurements on YbRh2Si2, down to temperatures as low as T ≈ 1 mK. The data reveal the development of nuclear antiferromagnetic order slightly above 2 mK and of heavy-electron superconductivity almost concomitantly with this order. Our results demonstrate that superconductivity in the vicinity of quantum criticality is a general phenomenon.

Science ; 339(6122): 933-6, 2013 Feb 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23430650


Unconventional superconductivity and other previously unknown phases of matter exist in the vicinity of a quantum critical point (QCP): a continuous phase change of matter at absolute zero. Intensive theoretical and experimental investigations on itinerant systems have shown that metallic ferromagnets tend to develop via either a first-order phase transition or through the formation of intermediate superconducting or inhomogeneous magnetic phases. Here, through precision low-temperature measurements, we show that the Grüneisen ratio of the heavy fermion metallic ferromagnet YbNi(4)(P(0.92)As(0.08))(2) diverges upon cooling to T = 0, indicating a ferromagnetic QCP. Our observation that this kind of instability, which is forbidden in d-electron metals, occurs in a heavy fermion system will have a large impact on the studies of quantum critical materials.

Nature ; 484(7395): 493-7, 2012 Apr 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22538612


A quantum critical point (QCP) arises when a continuous transition between competing phases occurs at zero temperature. Collective excitations at magnetic QCPs give rise to metallic properties that strongly deviate from the expectations of Landau's Fermi-liquid description, which is the standard theory of electron correlations in metals. Central to this theory is the notion of quasiparticles, electronic excitations that possess the quantum numbers of the non-interacting electrons. Here we report measurements of thermal and electrical transport across the field-induced magnetic QCP in the heavy-fermion compound YbRh(2)Si(2) (refs 2, 3). We show that the ratio of the thermal to electrical conductivities at the zero-temperature limit obeys the Wiedemann-Franz law for magnetic fields above the critical field at which the QCP is attained. This is also expected for magnetic fields below the critical field, where weak antiferromagnetic order and a Fermi-liquid phase form below 0.07 K (at zero field). At the critical field, however, the low-temperature electrical conductivity exceeds the thermal conductivity by about 10 per cent, suggestive of a non-Fermi-liquid ground state. This apparent violation of the Wiedemann-Franz law provides evidence for an unconventional type of QCP at which the fundamental concept of Landau quasiparticles no longer holds. These results imply that Landau quasiparticles break up, and that the origin of this disintegration is inelastic scattering associated with electronic quantum critical fluctuations--these insights could be relevant to understanding other deviations from Fermi-liquid behaviour frequently observed in various classes of correlated materials.