Quasi-particle interference of heavy fermions in resonant x-ray scattering

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Science Advances  14 Oct 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 10, e1601086
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601086

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Resonant x-ray scattering (RXS) has recently become an increasingly important tool for the study of ordering phenomena in correlated electron systems. Yet, the interpretation of RXS experiments remains theoretically challenging because of the complexity of the RXS cross section. Central to this debate is the recent proposal that impurity-induced Friedel oscillations, akin to quasi-particle interference signals observed with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), can lead to scattering peaks in RXS experiments. The possibility that quasi-particle properties can be probed in RXS measurements opens up a new avenue to study the bulk band structure of materials with the orbital and element selectivity provided by RXS. We test these ideas by combining RXS and STM measurements of the heavy fermion compound CeMIn5 (M = Co, Rh). Temperature- and doping-dependent RXS measurements at the Ce-M4 edge show a broad scattering enhancement that correlates with the appearance of heavy f-electron bands in these compounds. The scattering enhancement is consistent with the measured quasi-particle interference signal in the STM measurements, indicating that the quasi-particle interference can be probed through the momentum distribution of RXS signals. Overall, our experiments demonstrate new opportunities for studies of correlated electronic systems using the RXS technique.

  • Resonant x-ray scattering (RXS)
  • scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)
  • strongly correlated electron systems
  • heavy fermions
  • quasiparticle interference

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