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Title: Field-induced quantum critical point in the new itinerant antiferromagnet Ti3Cu4
New phases of matter emerge at the edge of magnetic instabilities. In local moment systems, such as heavy fermions, the magnetism can be destabilized by pressure, chemical doping, and, rarely, by magnetic field, towards a zero-temperature transition at a quantum critical point (QCP). Even more rare are instances of QCPs induced by pressure or doping in itinerant moment systems, with no known examples of analogous field-induced T = 0 transitions. Here we report the discovery of a new itinerant antiferromagnet with no magnetic constituents, in single crystals of Ti3Cu4 with T_N = 11.3 K. Band structure calculations point to an orbital-selective, spin density wave ground state, a consequence of the square net structural motif in Ti3Cu4. A small magnetic field, H_C = 4.87 T, suppresses the long-range order via a continuous second-order transition, resulting in a field-induced QCP. The magnetic Grüneisen ratio diverges as H→H_C and T→0, with a sign change at H_C and 1/T scaling at H = H_C, providing evidence from thermodynamic measurements for quantum criticality for H∥c. Non-Fermi liquid (NFL) to Fermi liquid (FL) crossover is observed close to the QCP, as revealed by the power law behavior of the electrical resistivity.
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Communications physics
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    New phases of matter emerge at the edge of magnetic instabilities, which can occur in materials with moments that are localized, itinerant or intermediate between these extremes. In local moment systems, such as heavy fermions, the magnetism can be tuned towards a zero-temperature transition at a quantum critical point (QCP) via pressure, chemical doping, and, rarely, magnetic field. By contrast, in itinerant moment systems, QCPs are more rare, and they are induced by pressure or doping; there are no known examples of field induced transitions. This means that no universal behaviour has been established across the whole itinerant-to-local moment range—a substantial gap in our knowledge of quantum criticality. Here we report an itinerant antiferromagnet, Ti3Cu4, that can be tuned to a QCP by a small magnetic field. We see signatures of quantum criticality and the associated non-Fermi liquid behaviour in thermodynamic and transport measurements, while band structure calculations point to an orbital-selective, spin density wave ground state, a consequence of the square net structural motif in Ti3Cu4. Ti3Cu4thus provides a platform for the comparison and generalisation of quantum critical behaviour across the whole spectrum of magnetism.

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