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Publication Detail / Abstract

Z. Ren, L. V. Pourovskii, G. Giriat, G. Lapertot, A. Georges, D. Jaccard

Giant overlap between the magnetic and superconducting phases of CeAu2Si2 under pressure

published in Physical Review X on September 26, 2014
> Full text via publisher

High pressure provides a powerful means for exploring unconventional superconductivity which appears mostly on the border of magnetism. Here we report the discovery of pressure-induced heavy-fermion superconductivity up to 2.5 K in the antiferromagnet CeAu2Si2 (TN ~ 10 K). Remarkably, the magnetic and superconducting phases are found to overlap across an unprecedentedly wide pressure interval from 11.8 to 22.3 GPa. Moreover, both the bulk Tc and TM are strongly enhanced when increasing the pressure from 16.7 to 20.2 GPa. Tc reaches a maximum at a pressure slightly below pc ~ 22.5 GPa, at which magnetic order disappears. Furthermore, the scaling behavior of the resistivity provides evidence for a continuous delocalization of the Ce 4f electrons associated with a critical endpoint lying just above pc. We show that the maximum Tc of CeAu2Si2 actually occurs at almost the same unit-cell volume as that of CeCu2Si2 and CeCu2Ge2, and when the Kondo and crystal-field splitting energies becomes comparable. Dynamical mean-field theory calculations suggest that the peculiar behavior in pressurized CeAu2Si2 might be related to its Ce 4f orbital occupancy. Our results not only provide a unique example of the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism, but also underline the role of orbital physics in understanding Ce-based heavy-fermion systems.

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