Inelastic electron scattering off magnetic impurities

Leonid Glazman

William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

Magnetic impurities affect significantly the electron kinetics in a normal metal. In addition to the phase relaxation, such impurities also facilitate the energy transfer between electrons. The role of magnetic impurities manifests itself in a mitigating effect of the magnetic field on the electron energy relaxation. The relaxation is also sensitive to the Kondo effect, which develops at sufficiently low temperatures, and to the exchange interaction between the magnetic impurities (RKKY interaction). The latter interaction gains significance with the increase of the impurity concentration. The developed theory offers a solution to the puzzle of fast electron energy relaxation in some mesoscopic metals. It also suggests new directions for experiments.