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An Optical Investigation of the Heavy Fermion Normal State in Superconducting UTe2

Published

Author(s)

Sirak Mekonen, Chang-Jong Kang, Dipanjan Chaudhuri, David Barbalas, Sheng Ran, Gabriel Kotliar, Nicholas Butch, N. Armitage

Abstract

The recently discovered superconductor, UTe2, has attracted immense scientific interest due to the experimental observations that suggest odd-parity superconductivity. It is believed that the material becomes a heavy-fermion metal at low temperatures although details of the normal state are unclear. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), the normal state electronic structure of UTe2 was investigated at zero applied magnetic field. Combining the measured reflectivity with the dc resistivity, the complex optical conductivity was obtained over a large frequency range. The frequency dependence of the real part of the optical conductivity exhibits a MIR peak around 4000 cm-1 and a narrow Drude peak that develops below 40 K. A combination of density functional and dynamic mean field theory (DFT + DMFT) gives spectra in close correspondence to the experiment. Via this comparison we attribute the prominent MIR peak to inter-band transitions involving a narrow U 5f feature that develops near the Fermi level. In this regard, our data gives spectroscopic evidence for the existence of a low energy Kondo resonance at temperatures just above the onset of superconductivity and implicates heavy electrons in the formation of the superconducting state. We find that the coherent Kondo resonance is primarily associated with a collapse of scattering and less with a transfer of spectral weight.
Citation
Physical Review Letters

Keywords

optical conductivity, spin triplet superconductor

Citation

Mekonen, S. , Kang, C. , Chaudhuri, D. , Barbalas, D. , Ran, S. , Kotliar, G. , Butch, N. and Armitage, N. (2022), An Optical Investigation of the Heavy Fermion Normal State in Superconducting UTe<sub>2</sub>, Physical Review Letters (Accessed July 6, 2022)
Created April 13, 2022