Equilibrium current vortices in simple metals doped with rare earths

Adam B. Cahaya, Alejandro O. Leon, Mojtaba Rahimi Aliabad, Gerrit E.W. Bauer

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Abstract

Dilute alloys of rare earths have played a vital role in understanding magnetic phenomena. Here, we model the ground state of dilute 4f rare-earth impurities in light metals. When the 4f subshells are open (but not half-filled), the spin-orbit coupling imprints a rotational charge current of conduction electrons around rare-earth atoms. The sign and amplitude of the current oscillate similar to the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) spin polarization. We compute the observable effect, namely, the Ørsted field generated by the current vortices and the Knight shift.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064433
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26-Feb-2021

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