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Anisotropic magnetism in hybridizing uranium systems
The isostructural uranium monopnictides and monochalcogenides have become prototype systems in actinide research with respect to their unusual magnetic properties. We have investigated the origins in the electronic structure of the variation in magnetic behavior as the degree of 5f-electron localization changes from localized to itinerant on going up the pnictogen or chalcogen column, thus decreasing the U-U separation. We have applied a synthesis of: (1) A phenomenological theory of orbitally driven magnetic ordering which includes both the hybridization-induced and the RKKY exchange interactions on an equal footing, and (2) Ab initio electronic structure calculations, based on the linear-muffin-tin-orbital method, allowing a first-principles evaluation of the parameters entering the model Hamiltonian. We have investigated systematically characteristic trends and changes of the 5f-state resonance width, the hybridization potential, and the hybridization-induced and RKKY exchange interactions with chemical environment, on going down the pnictogen or chalcogen column and on going from the weakly hybridizing pnictides to the more strongly hybridizing chalcogenides.