Visualizing rattling in PrOs 4Sb 12 by single crystal neutron diffraction and maximum-entropy analysis

Koji Kaneko, Naoto Metoki, Hiroyuki Kimura, Yukio Noda, Tatsuma D. Matsuda, Masahumi Kohgi

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20 Citations (Scopus)


In order to obtain a detailed picture of rattling in PrOs 4Sb 12, a single crystal neutron diffraction experiment and a maximum-entropy analysis were carried out. At room temperature, a widely distributed anisotropic Pr nuclear density in the Sb icosahedron cage was revealed. An unusual trapezoidal form in the cross-sectional density profile of Pr clearly demonstrates the presence of strong anharmonicity in the Pr potential, in which the (111) direction has the maximum spread. The highest density is found at an off-center position along the same direction. The Pr density distribution becomes isotropic and sharp by cooling down to 8 K. Moreover, the highest density of Pr at 8 K is found at the center of the cage. The obtained nuclear density distribution and its temperature variation indicate that the rattling in PrOs 4Sb 12 is a strong anharmonic thermal motion without an off-center potential minimum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074710
Journaljournal of the physical society of japan
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Maximum-entropy method
  • Neutron diffraction
  • PrOs4Sb12
  • Rattling
  • Skutterudite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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