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Alexandra Palacio Morales

Thermoelectricity of strongly correlated compounds under extreme conditions

Published on 7 November 2014
Thesis presented November 07, 2014

Thermopower is a technique whose importance is related to the possibility of directly measuring electronic properties of the systems, as it is sensitive to the derivative of the density of states. In this work, the low temperature regime of strongly correlated electron systems has been studied using this technique. For that, a new pressure-field thermopower device was developed, and used, to determine (T,P,H) phase diagrams of the itinerant ferromagnets UCoAl and UGe2, and of the weak antiferromagnet CeRh2Si2. For example, in the case of UCoAl, this same technique was used to analyze the metamagnetic transition from paramagnetic (PM) to ferromagnetic (FM) phases and to study its evolution towards the quantum critical end point. The existence of exotic magnetic excitations in the ground state and around the critical end point were also evidenced. On the compound CeRh2Si2, the suppression of the antiferromagnetic (AF) order by magnetic fields and pressures was explored. A strong change of the Fermi surface at Hc, the field at which the suppression of the AF into the paramagnetic polarized (PPM) phase, was observed. We show that under pressure, the magnetic fluctuations around the critical pressure Pc masked the Fermi surface reconstruction of the AF phase into the PM phase. The analysis of the (T,P,H) phase diagram revealed that the non-ordered phases of this compound (PM and PPM) are different, therefore pressure and field behave as different suppressor mechanisms. In the UGe2 compound, the analysis of its Fermi surface by thermopower quantum oscillations was performed as a last example of the utility and of the importance of this technique. To the best of the author knowledge, this is the first time that this technique was used in heavy fermion systems. A comparison to traditional probes such as de Haas-van Alphen and Shubnikov-de Haas effects was done. We observed a good agreement between them and we explain the advantages and the disadvantages of thermopower quantum oscillations technique over the traditional probes.

Electronic correlations, Quantum criticality, Nernst effect, Magnetism, Thermopower, Heavy fermions

On-line thesis.