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Title: Extended nuclear quadrupole resonance study of the heavy-fermion superconductor PuCoGa5

PuCoGa5 has emerged as a prototypical heavy-fermion superconductor, with its transition temperature (Tc ≃ 18.5 K) being the highest amongst such materials. Nonetheless, a clear description as to what drives the superconducting pairing is still lacking, rendered complicated by the notoriously intricate nature of plutonium's 5f valence electrons. Here, we present a detailed 69,71Ga nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) study of PuCoGa5, concentrating on the system's normal state properties near to Tc and aiming to detect distinct signatures of possible pairing mechanisms. In particular, the quadrupole frequency and spin-lattice relaxation rate were measured for the two crystallographically inequivalent Ga sites and for both Ga isotopes, in the temperature range 1.6–300 K. No evidence of significant charge fluctuations is found from the NQR observables. On the contrary, the low-energy dynamics is dominated by anisotropic spin fluctuations with strong, nearly critical, in-plane character, which are effectively identical to the case of the sister compound PuCoIn5. Lastly, these findings are discussed within the context of different theoretical proposals for the unconventional pairing mechanism in heavy-fermion superconductors.
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-24320; LA-UR-16-24563
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950; PRBMDO; TRN: US1701546
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 94; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; USDOE Office of Science (SC). Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States