Devil’s staircase transition of the electronic structures in CeSb


Kenta Kuroda, Y. Arai, N. Rezaei, S. Kunisada, S. Sakuragi, M. Alaei, Y. Kinoshita, C. Bareille, R. Noguchi, M. Nakayama, S. Akebi, M. Sakano, K. Kawaguchi, M. Arita, S. Ideta, K.Tanaka, H. Kitazawa, K. Okazaki, M. Tokunaga, Y. Haga, S. Shin, H. S. Suzuki, R. Arita, and Takeshi Kondo

Solids with competing interactions often undergo complex phase transitions with a variety of long-periodic modulations. Among such transition, devil’s staircase is the most complex phenomenon, and for it, CeSb is the most famous material, where a number of the distinct phases with long-periodic magnetostructures sequentially appear below the Néel temperature. An evolution of the low-energy electronic structure going through the devil’s staircase is of special interest, which has, however, been elusive so far despite 40 years of intense research. Here, we use bulk-sensitive angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and reveal the devil’s staircase transition of the electronic structures. The magnetic reconstruction dramatically alters the band dispersions at each transition. Moreover, we find that the well-defined band picture largely collapses around the Fermi energy under the long-periodic modulation of the transitional phase, while it recovers at the transition into the lowest-temperature ground state. Our data provide the first direct evidence for a significant reorganization of the electronic structures and spectral functions occurring during the devil’s staircase.


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