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Experimental observation of temperature and magnetic-field evolution of the 4${it f}$ states in CeFe$$_{2}$$ revealed by soft X-ray magnetic circular dichroism

Saito, Yuji; Yasui, Akira*; Fuchimoto, Hiroto*; Nakatani, Yasuhiro*; Fujiwara, Hidenori*; Imada, Shin*; Narumi, Yasuo*; Kindo, Koichi*; Takahashi, Minoru*; Ebihara, Takao*; Sekiyama, Akira*

We revisit the delocalized character of the 4$$f$$ states of CeFe$$_2$$ in the ferromagnetically ordered phase by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) in X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) with improved data quality using single crystals. Surprisingly, the Ce $$M_{4,5}$$ XMCD spectral shape changes significantly as a function of temperature and applied magnetic field, with no concomitant changes in the spectral shape of the Ce $$M_{4,5}$$ XAS as well as the Fe $$L_{2,3}$$ XAS and XMCD. This unusual behavior is characterized by the $$J=7/2$$ states in a 4$$f^1$$ configuration mixed into the $$J=5/2$$ ground state. Such extreme sensitivity of the Ce 4$$f$$ states to the external perturbations can be related to the magnetic instability toward an antiferromagnetic phase in CeFe$$_2$$. Our experimental data presented here provide valuable insights into the underlying physics in strongly-hybridized ferromagnetic Ce compounds.

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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary

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