Direct Experimental Evidence for the Atomic Tunneling of Europium in Crystalline Eu₈Ga₁₆Ge₃₀

Veerle Keppens
Pierre Bonville
George S. Nolas
Fernande Grandjean, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Gary J. Long, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Hans M. Christen
Bryan C. Chakoumakos
Brian C. Sales
David Mandrus
Raphaël P. Hermann

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Mössbauer-effect and microwave absorption experimental evidence unambiguously demonstrates the presence of slow, ~450 MHz, tunneling of magnetic europium between four equivalent sites in Eu8Ga16Ge30, a stoichiometric clathrate. Remarkably, six of the eight europium atoms, or 11% of the constituents in this solid, tunnel between these four sites separated by 0.55 Å. The off centering of the atoms or ions in crystalline clathrates appears to be a promising route for producing Rabi oscillators in solid-state materials.