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Visualization of anharmonic thermal vibration in filled skutterudite compounds

Kaneko, Koji   ; Metoki, Naoto   ; Kimura, Hiroyuki*; Noda, Yukio*; Matsuda, Tatsuma; Kogi, Masafumi*

In filled skutterudite compounds, the importance of rattling is suggested in connection with the formation of heavy quasiparticles and superconductivity. A combination of the single crystal neutron diffraction and the maximum entropy method (MEM) offers an ability to unveil the thermal motion of Pr in PrOs$$_4$$Sb$$_{12}$$ without any specific model. The result reveals the widely spread Pr nuclear density distribution at room temperature, which has a trapezoidal shape in the real space with the width of roughly 0.6 ${AA}$ in the full width at half maximum. In contrast, the Pr distribution at 8 K has a sharp, isotropic gaussian shape, and the highest density locates at the center of the cage. These features indicate the strong anharmonicity of the Pr potential in the Sb cage.

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Category:Physics, Multidisciplinary

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