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Physics  2012 

Spin Exciton Formation inside the Hidden Order Phase of CeB6

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.146403

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The heavy fermion metal CeB6 exhibits hidden order of antiferroquadrupolar (AFQ) type below T_Q=3.2K and subsequent antiferromagnetic (AFM) order at T_N=2.3K. It was interpreted as ordering of the quadrupole and dipole moments of a $\Gamma_8$ quartet of localised Ce $4f^1$ electrons. This established picture has been profoundly shaken by recent inelastic neutron scattering (G. Friemel et al., arXiv:1111.4151) that found the evolution of a feedback spin exciton resonance within the hidden order phase at the AFQ wave vector which is stabilized by the AFM order. We develop an alternative theory based on a fourfold degenerate Anderson lattice model, including both order parameters as particle-hole condensates of itinerant heavy quasiparticles. This explains in a natural way the appearance of the spin exciton resonance and the momentum dependence of its spectral weight, in particular around the AFQ vector and its rapid disappearance in the disordered phase. Analogies to the feedback effect in unconventional heavy fermion superconductors are pointed out.


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