CeRh6Ge4 is an unusual example of a stoichiometric heavy fermion ferromagnet, which can be cleanly tuned by hydrostatic pressure to a quantum critical point. To understand the origin of this anomalous behavior, we have characterized the magnetic ordering and crystalline electric field (CEF) scheme of this system. While magnetic Bragg peaks are not resolved in neutron powder diffraction, coherent oscillations are observed in zero-field μSR below TC, which are consistent with in-plane ferromagnetic ordering consisting of reduced Ce moments. From analyzing the magnetic susceptibility and inelastic neutron scattering, we propose a CEF-level scheme which accounts for the easy-plane magnetocrystalline anisotropy, where the low lying first excited CEF exhibits significantly stronger hybridization than the ground state. These results suggest that the orbital anisotropy of the ground state and low-lying excited state doublets are important for realizing anisotropic electronic coupling between the f and conduction electrons, which gives rise to the highly anisotropic hybridization observed in photoemission experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics