Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version


Document Type



Physical Review B 85, 214405 (2012); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.85.214405


Copyright 2012 American Physical Society. 2012 Used by permission.


Electrical resistivity of heavy rare-earth metals has a dominant contribution from thermal spin-disorder scattering. Here this spin-disorder resistivity is calculated for the Gd-Tm series of metals in the paramagnetic state. Calculations are performed within the tight-binding linear muffin-tin orbital method using two complementary methods: (1) averaging of the Landauer-Büttiker conductance of a supercell over random noncollinear spin-disorder configurations, and (2) linear response calculations with the spin-disordered state described in the coherent potential approximation. The agreement between these two methods is found to be excellent. The spin-disorder resistivity in the series follows an almost universal dependence on the exchange splitting. While the crystallographic anisotropy of the spin-disorder resistivity agrees well with experiment, its magnitude is significantly underestimated. These results suggest that the classical picture of slowly rotating self-consistent local moments is inadequate for rare-earth metals. A simple quantum correction improves agreement with experiment but does not fully account for the discrepancy, suggesting that more complicated scattering mechanisms may be important.