G. Ehlers

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Florida, United States

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Publications (168)395.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Electric resistivity, specific heat, magnetic susceptibility, and inelastic neutron scattering experiments were performed on a single crystal of the heavy fermion compound Ce(Ni$_{0.935}$Pd$_{0.065}$)$_2$Ge$_2$ in order to study the spin fluctuations near an antiferromagnetic (AF) quantum critical point (QCP). The resistivity and the specific heat coefficient for $T \leq$ 1 K exhibit the power law behavior expected for a 3D itinerant AF QCP ($\rho(T) \sim T^{3/2}$ and $\gamma(T) \sim \gamma_0 - b T^{1/2}$). However, for 2 $\leq T \leq$ 10 K, the susceptibility and specific heat vary as $log T$ and the resistivity varies linearly with temperature. Furthermore, despite the fact that the resistivity and specific heat exhibit the non-Fermi liquid behavior expected at a QCP, the correlation length, correlation time, and staggered susceptibility of the spin fluctuations remain finite at low temperature. We suggest that these deviations from the divergent behavior expected for a QCP may result from alloy disorder.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 11/2014; 27:015602. · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bulk magnetization, transport and neutron scattering measurements were performed to investigate the electronic and magnetic properties of a polycrystalline sample of the newly discovered ferromagnetic superconductor, CeO$_{0.3}$F$_{0.7}$BiS$_{2}$. Ferromagnetism develops below T$_{FM}$ = 6.54(8) K and superconductivity is found to coexist with the ferromagnetic state below T$_{SC}$ ~ 4.5 K. Inelastic neutron scattering measurements reveal a very weakly dispersive magnetic excitation at 1.8 meV that can be explained by an Ising-like spin Hamiltonian. Under application of an external magnetic field, the direction of the magnetic moment changes from the c-axis to the ab-plane and the 1.8 meV excitation splits into two modes. A possible mechanism for the unusual magnetism and its relation to superconductivity is discussed.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We have used high-resolution neutron spectroscopy experiments to determine the complete spin wave spectrum of the heavy fermion antiferromagnet CeRhIn$_5$. The spin wave dispersion can be quantitatively reproduced with a simple $J_1$-$J_2$ model that also naturally explains the magnetic spin-spiral ground state of CeRhIn$_5$ and yields a dominant in-plane nearest-neighbor magnetic exchange constant $J_0$ = 0.74 meV. Our results pave the way to a quantitative understanding of the rich low-temperature phase diagram of the prominent Ce$T$In$_5$ ($T$ = Co, Rh, Ir) class of heavy fermion materials.
    Physical Review Letters 08/2014; 113:246403. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamics of water confined in ~5 Å diameter channels of beryl and cordierite single crystals were studied by using inelastic (INS) and quasielastic (QENS) neutron scattering. The INS spectra for both samples were similar and showed that there are no hydrogen bonds acting on water molecule, which experiences strong anisotropic potential, steep along the channels and very soft perpendicular to it. The high resolution (3.4 mkeV) QENS data revealed gradual freezing out of the water molecule dynamics for both minerals at temperatures below about 80 K when the scattering momentum transfer was parallel to the channels, but not when it was perpendicular to the channels. The QENS study with medium energy resolution (0.25 meV) of the beryl with the scattering momentum transfer along the channels showed gradual freezing out of water molecule dynamics at temperatures below about 200 K, while at higher temperatures the data could be described as 2-fold rotational jumps about the axis coinciding with the direction of the dipole moment (that is, perpendicular to the channels), with a residence time of 5.5 ps at 225 K. The energy resolution dependence of the apparent dynamics freezing temperature suggests gradual slowing down of the rotational jumps as the temperature is decreased, until the associated QENS broadening can no longer be detected, rather than actual freezing.
    The journal of physical chemistry. B. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Neutron diffraction measurements were carried out on single crystals and powders of Yb2Pt2Pb, where Yb moments form planes of orthogonal dimers in the frustrated Shastry-Sutherland Lattice (SSL). Yb2Pt2Pb orders antiferromagnetically at TN=2.07 K, and the magnetic structure determined from these measurements features the interleaving of two orthogonal sublattices into a 5*5*1 magnetic supercell that is based on stripes with moments perpendicular to the dimer bonds, which are along (110) and (-110). Magnetic fields applied along (110) or (-110) suppress the antiferromagnetic peaks from an individual sublattice, but leave the orthogonal sublattice unaffected, evidence for the Ising character of the Yb moments in Yb2Pt2Pb. Specific heat, magnetic susceptibility, and electrical resistivity measurements concur with neutron elastic scattering results that the longitudinal critical fluctuations are gapped with E about 0.07 meV.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Modern spallation neutron sources are driven by proton beams ~ GeV energies. Whereas low energy particle background shielding is well understood for reactors sources of neutrons (~20 MeV), for high energies (100s MeV to multiple GeV) there is potential to improve shielding solutions and reduce instrument backgrounds significantly. We present initial measured data on high energy particle backgrounds, which illustrate the results of particle showers caused by high energy particles from spallation neutron sources. We use detailed physics models of different materials to identify new shielding solutions for such neutron sources, including laminated layers of multiple materials. In addition to the steel and concrete, which are used traditionally, we introduce some other options that are new to the neutron scattering community, among which there are copper alloys as used in hadronic calorimeters in high energy physics laboratories. These concepts have very attractive energy absorption characteristics, and simulations predict that the background suppression could be improved by one or two orders of magnitude. These solutions are expected to be great benefit to the European Spallation Source, where the majority of instruments are potentially affected by high energy backgrounds, as well as to existing spallation sources.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 07/2014; 528(1):012013.
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    ABSTRACT: Complementary neutron- and light-scattering results on nine proteins and amino acids reveal the role of rigidity and secondary structure in determining the time- and lengthscales of low-frequency collective vibrational dynamics in proteins. These dynamics manifest in a spectral feature, known as the boson peak (BP), which is common to all disordered materials. We demonstrate that BP position scales systematically with structural motifs, reflecting local rigidity: disordered proteins appear softer than α-helical proteins; which are softer than β-sheet proteins. Our analysis also reveals a universal spectral shape of the BP in proteins and amino acid mixtures; superimposable on the shape observed in typical glasses. Uniformity in the underlying physical mechanism, independent of the specific chemical composition, connects the BP vibrations to nanometer-scale heterogeneities, providing an experimental benchmark for coarse-grained simulations, structure/rigidity relationships, and engineering of proteins for novel applications.
    Biophysical journal. 06/2014; 106(12):2667-2674.
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) as a recognized structural class has forced the community to confront a new paradigm of structure, dynamics, and mechanical properties for proteins. We present novel data on the similarities and differences in the dynamics and nanomechanical properties of IDPs and other biomacromolecules on the picosecond timescale. An IDP, β-casein (CAS), has been studied in a calcium bound and unbound state using neutron and light scattering techniques. We show that CAS partially folds and stiffens upon calcium binding, but in the unfolded state it is softer than folded proteins such as green fluorescence protein (GFP). We also see that some localized diffusive motions in CAS have larger amplitude than in GFP at this timescale, but are still smaller than those observed in tRNA. In spite of these differences, CAS dynamics are consistent with the classes of motions seen in folded protein on this time scale.
    The journal of physical chemistry. B. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present new magnetic heat capacity and neutron scattering results for two magnetically frustrated molybdate pyrochlores: $S=1$ oxide Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_7$ and $S={\frac{1}{2}}$ oxynitride Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_5$N$_2$. Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_7$ undergoes a transition to an unconventional spin glass ground state at $T_f {\sim} 16$ K. However, the preparation of the corresponding oxynitride tunes the nature of the ground state from spin glass to quantum spin liquid. The comparison of the static and dynamic spin correlations within the oxide and oxynitride phases presented here reveals the crucial role played by quantum fluctuations in the selection of a ground state. Furthermore, we estimate an upper limit for a gap in the spin excitation spectrum of the quantum spin liquid state of the oxynitride of ${\Delta} {\sim} 0.05$ meV or ${\frac{\Delta}{|\theta|}}\sim0.004$, in units of its antiferromagnetic Weiss constant ${\theta} {\sim}-121$ K.
    Physical Review Letters 05/2014; 113(11). · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present new magnetic heat capacity and neutron scattering results for two magnetically frustrated molybdate pyrochlores: $S=1$ oxide Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_7$ and $S={\frac{1}{2}}$ oxynitride Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_5$N$_2$. Lu$_2$Mo$_2$O$_7$ undergoes a transition to an unconventional spin glass ground state at $T_f {\sim} 16$ K. However, the preparation of the corresponding oxynitride tunes the nature of the ground state from spin glass to quantum spin liquid. The comparison of the static and dynamic spin correlations within the oxide and oxynitride phases presented here reveals the crucial role played by quantum fluctuations in the selection of a ground state. Furthermore, we estimate an upper limit for a gap in the spin excitation spectrum of the quantum spin liquid state of the oxynitride of ${\Delta} {\sim} 0.05$ meV or ${\frac{\Delta}{|\theta|}}\sim0.004$, in units of its antiferromagnetic Weiss constant ${\theta} {\sim}-121$ K.
    04/2014;
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    02/2014; 89(9).
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    ABSTRACT: Polyoligosilsesquioxanes (POSS) are a large family of Si−O cage molecules that have diameters of 1−2 nm and can be viewed as perfectly monodisperse silica nanoparticles. POSS can be synthesized with a wide variety of functional ligands attached to their surfaces. Here we report the results of a comprehensive study of the crystal structure and ligand dynamics of one of the simplest POSS nanoparticles, octamethyl-POSS or Si8O12(CH3)8, where the central Si8O12 cage is surrounded by eight methyl ligands. Neutron powder diffraction data highlight the presence of strongly temperature-dependent methyl group rotational dynamics. Vibrational spectra were measured using Raman and inelastic neutron scattering techniques, and the results of the measurements were compared with the predictions of density functional theory calculations. In particular, the inelastic neutron scattering spectra show the fundamental and first overtone transitions of the methyl torsional vibrations; these transitions are forbidden in both Raman and infrared spectroscopy for the molecule with its ideal octahedral symmetry. The energies of these transitions are used to determine the height of the torsional energy barrier. Direct measurements of the methyl group dynamics using quasielastic incoherent neutron scattering provide the hydrogen atom jump distance and the activation energy for rotation of the methyl groups. Together these results provide a detailed picture of the structure and ligand dynamics of this POSS molecule.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 02/2014; 118:5579−5592.
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    ABSTRACT: High-intensity pulsed neutron scattering reveals a new set of magnetic excitations in the pinwheel valence-bond solid state of the distorted kagome lattice antiferromagnet Rb2Cu3SnF12. The polarization of the dominant dispersive modes (2meV<ℏω<7meV) is determined and found consistent with a dimer series expansion with strong Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interactions (D/J=0.18). A weakly dispersive mode near 5 meV and shifted “ghosts” of the main modes are attributed to the enlarged unit cell below a T=215 K structural transition. Continuum scattering between 8 and 10 meV might be interpreted as a remnant of the kagome spinon continuum [ Nature (London) 492 406 (2012)].
    Physical Review B 01/2014; 89:024414. · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Bulletin of the American Physical Society. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory now hosts four direct geometry time-of-flight chopper spectrometers. These instruments cover a range of wave-vector and energy transfer space with varying degrees of neutron flux and resolution. The regions of reciprocal and energy space available to measure at these instruments are not exclusive and overlap significantly. We present a direct comparison of the capabilities of this instrumentation, conducted by data mining the instrument usage histories, and specific scanning regimes. In addition, one of the common science missions for these instruments is the study of magnetic excitations in condensed matter systems. We have measured the powder averaged spin wave spectra in one particular sample using each of these instruments, and use these data in our comparisons.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 01/2014; 85(4):045113-045113-13. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The anharmonic lattice dynamics of rock-salt thermoelectric compounds SnTe and PbTe are investigated with inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and first-principles calculations. The experiments show that, surprisingly, although SnTe is closer to the ferroelectric instability, phonon spectra in PbTe exhibit a more anharmonic character. This behavior is reproduced in first-principles calculations of the temperature-dependent phonon self-energy. Our simulations reveal how the nesting of phonon dispersions induces prominent features in the self-energy, which account for the measured INS spectra and their temperature dependence. We establish that the phase-space for three-phonon scattering processes, rather than just the proximity to the lattice instability, is the mechanism determining the complex spectrum of the transverse-optical ferroelectric mode.
    Physical Review Letters 12/2013; 112(17). · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CuCrO2 offers insights into the different types of spiral magnetic orderings that can form spontaneously due to frustration in triangular-lattice antiferromagnets. We explore the magnetic phase diagram up to 65 T along all the principle axes, and also use electric polarization to probe changes in the spiral order at high magnetic fields. It is known that at zero magnetic field a proper-screw spiral of the Cr S = 3/2 spins forms that in turn induces electric polarization with six possible orientations ab-plane. Applied magnetic fields in the (hard) ab-plane have been shown to induce a transition to cycloidal spiral magnetic order above 5.3 T in those domains that have spins perpendicular to the applied magnetic field. We show that the cycloidal order remains unchanged all the way up to 65 T, which is one quarter of the extrapolated saturation magnetization. On the other hand for magnetic fields along the (easy) c-axis, we observe a transition in the electric polarization near 45 T, and it is followed by a series of steps and/or oscillations in the electric polarization. The data is consistent with the a proper-screw-to-cycloidal transition that is pushed from 5.3 to 45 T by easy-axis anisotropy, and is in turn followed by stretching of the magnetic spiral through commensurate and incommensurate wave vectors. This work also highlights the ability of the magnetically-induced electric polarization to probe complex magnetic orders in regimes of phase space that are difficult to reach with neutron diffraction.
    arXiv. 12/2013; 1312.2548.
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    ABSTRACT: The phase transition in CuCrO2 to an ordered magnetic state is studied with bulk measurements and elastic and inelastic neutron scattering techniques. The reported onset of spontaneous electric polarization at T = 23.5 K coincides with the appearance, on cooling, of elastic magnetic scattering. At higher temperatures long range magnetic correlations gradually develop but they are dynamic. The ground state is characterized by three-dimensional long range magnetic ordering but along the c direction the correlation length remains limited to ∼200 Å.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 11/2013; 25(49):496009. · 2.22 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

844 Citations
395.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2014
    • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
      • Neutron Scattering Science Division
      Oak Ridge, Florida, United States
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology
      • NIST Center for Neutron Research
      Maryland, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • University of Tennessee
      • Department of Chemistry
      Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
  • 2009
    • Indiana University Bloomington
      • Department of Physics
      Bloomington, IN, United States
  • 1999–2008
    • Institut Laue-Langevin
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2007
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Materials Science and Engineering
      Maryland, United States