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Bi209 NMR and NQR investigation of the small-gap semiconductor Ce3Bi4Pt3


We report measurements of the temperature dependence of the Bi209 nuclear quadrupole resonance frequency νQ, the Knight shift K, and the spin-lattice relaxation rate 1/T1 in the small-gap semiconductor Ce3Bi4Pt3 between 1.8 and 300 K. Corresponding measurements also are reported for the nonmagnetic metallic isomorph La3Bi4Pt3. The νQ data in the Ce compound show a characteristic departure from metallic-to-insulating behavior when the sample is cooled below TM=80 K, the temperature of the susceptibility maximum, attributable to a loss of low-frequency vibrational modes in the insulating state. The Knight shift has both isotropic and axial components; this anisotropy originates from the presence of Ce via a transferred hyperfine coupling between Ce 4f and conduction electrons. An s-f exchange constant 0.4 eV is found, consistent with hybridization in other rare-earth intermetallic compounds. A change in the scaling between the susceptibility and both the isotropic and axial Knight shifts at temperature TM provides evidence that hybridization between the Ce 4f orbitals and the conduction electrons is responsible for the gap structure. The temperature dependence of the 1/T1 data is consistent with a model electronic density of states possessing a temperature-independent gap δ of 180 K and a bandwidth of the order of 1600 K. The temperature dependence of 1/T1 can also be fit well with a temperature-dependent gap with δ(0) also 180 K. © 1994 The American Physical Society.

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