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Evidence of electron correlation and unusual spectral evolution in an exotic superconductor, PdTe

Ram Prakash PandeyaArindam PramanikPramita MishraIndranil SarkarA. ThamizhavelKalobaran Maiti
Jan 2024
We study the electronic structure of an exotic superconductor, PdTe employing depth-resolved high resolution photoemission spectroscopy and density functional theory. The valence band spectra exhibit large density of states at the Fermi level with flat intensity in a wide energy range indicating highly metallic ground state. The Pd 4d-Te 5p hybridization is found to be strong leading to a highly covalent character of the itinerant states. Core level spectra exhibit several features including the signature of plasmon excitations. Although the radial extension of the 4d orbitals is larger than 3d ones, the Pd core level spectra exhibit distinct satellites indicating importance of electron correlation in the electronic structure which may be a reason for unconventional superconductivity observed in this system. The depth-resolved data reveal surface peaks at higher binding energies in both, Te and Pd core level spectra. Interestingly, core level shift in Te-case is significantly large compared to Pd although Te is relatively more electronegative. Detailed analysis rules out applicability of the charge transfer and/or band-narrowing models to capture this scenario. This unusual scenario is attributed to the reconstruction and/or vacancies at the surface. These results reveal the importance of electron correlation and surface topology for the physics of this material exhibiting Dirac fermions and complex superconductivity.
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