Research ArticleCONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS

Super-heavy electron material as metallic refrigerant for adiabatic demagnetization cooling

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Science Advances  09 Sep 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 9, e1600835
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600835
  • Fig. 1 Adiabatic demagnetization cooling by an HE refrigerant.

    (A) Comparison of the demagnetization processes for conventional localized moment (left) and HE itinerant moment (right) refrigerants. For the latter (right), the entropy S is proportional to the number of thermally excited holes and electrons, D(EF)kBT, which corresponds roughly to the area depicted by orange color. Here, D is the density of states. These materials at zero field have a large and sharp peak with a width of ~kBTK in the density of states near EF. The density of states is being strongly suppressed by the application of fields exceeding μ0H = kBTK/gμB (upper right) (14, 2830), which could be used for adiabatic demagnetization cooling. Note that these are schematic sketches only, and the true D(E) in particular for H ≥0 will display a finer structure. (B) Crystal lattice structure of the super-HE refrigerant YbCo2Zn20 and the cage structure of Zn surrounding Yb. (C) Temperature dependence of electrical resistivity at zero field of Yb1−xScxCo2Zn20, with x = 0, 0.13, and 0.19.

  • Fig. 2 Formation of the super-HE state in YbCo2Zn20 and the diverging effective mass in partially Sc-substituted material.

    Electronic specific heat divided by temperature Cel/T for H//[100] plotted against temperature. The nuclear specific heat was subtracted. Cel/T at zero magnetic field for x = 0, 0.13, and 0.19, plotted with black open circles, red open squares, and blue solid triangles, respectively. The data for x = 0.19 at a magnetic field of 8 T along the [100] direction are indicated by blue solid diamonds. Inset: The calculated electronic entropy for x = 0.19 at zero field and 8 T under the assumption of constant Cel/T below the lowest measured temperatures. It is noted that this assumption leads to a slight underestimation of entropy at zero field. The gray lines with arrows indicate the demagnetization cooling process, starting from μ0H = 8 T and T = 1.5 K. The final temperature Tf is 0.075 K. The gray area indicates the amount of the heat ΔQc = 2.2 J/mol, which the material absorbs in the cooling process, whereas the area of rectangle a-b-c-d indicates the heat ΔQm = 5.6 J/mol, which is transferred from the material to the heat bath. These yield a high efficiency factor ΔQmQc of 40%.

  • Fig. 3 Tuning to QCP by Sc doping in Yb1−xScxCo2Zn20.

    (A) Magnetic Grüneisen ratio ΓH of Yb1−xScxCo2Zn20 with x = 0, 0.13, and 0.19 as a function of temperature for H//[100]. The divergence with a power law ~T−1 for x = 0.19 is indicated by the blue solid line. (B) ΓH at T = 80 mK as a function of magnetic field. The solid blue line is a fit to the data for x = 0.19 from μ0H = 1 to 8 T. Inset: Low-field region.

  • Fig. 4 Visualization of tuning to the QCP by Sc substitution.

    Color-coded contour plot of the magnetic Grüneisen parameter ΓH of Yb1−xScxCo2Zn20 in H-T phase space. Magnetic field has been applied parallel to the [100] direction. Dotted lines indicate maximum positions in the field dependence of ΓH(H). These lines correspond to the crossover field to the FL regime at high fields (24). (See the main text for explanation.) For x = 0 and 0.13, the systems at low fields are influenced by quantum fluctuations of metamagnetism around 0.5 T (16), causing a finite-field extrapolation of the maximum position in ΓH(H) for T→0. For the critical concentration xc = 0.19, the line is extrapolated to zero, reflecting a zero-field QCP. ΓH obeys the expected QC behavior of SDW instability, namely, ΓH(T) ~ 1/T in the QC regime and ΓH(H) ~ 1/H in the FL regime (17, 24).

  • Fig. 5 Adiabatic demagnetization refrigeration of Yb1−xScxCo2Zn20.

    Solid black, red, and blue curves represent the cooling curves for x = 0, 0.13, and 0.19, respectively. The curves are obtained by integrating the MCE (∂T/∂H|S) from 8 T to zero field. Magnetic field is applied parallel to the [100] direction. The points at low temperature below the lower limit of the thermometer calibration (40 mK) are obtained by extrapolating the calibration data. The out-of-calibration range is shaded by gray.

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