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Pure and Applied Chemistry

The Scientific Journal of IUPAC

Ed. by Burrows, Hugh / Weir, Ron / Stohner, Jürgen

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Structure, magnetism, and thermodynamics of the novel rare earth-based R5T4 intermetallics

V. K. Pecharsky1 / K. A. Gschneidner1

1Ames Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3020, USA

Citation Information: Pure and Applied Chemistry. Volume 79, Issue 8, Pages 1383–1402, ISSN (Online) 1365-3075, ISSN (Print) 0033-4545, DOI: 10.1351/pac200779081383, January 2009

Publication History

Published Online:
2009-01-01

After approximately 30 years of dormancy, the binary, ternary, and multicomponent intermetallic compounds of rare earth metals (R) with the group 14 elements (T) at the R5T4 stoichiometry have become a goldmine for materials science, condensed matter physics, and solid-state chemistry. In addition to providing numerous opportunities to clarify elusive structure-property relationships, the R5T4 compounds may soon be developed into practical materials by exploiting their unique sensitivity toward a variety of chemical and physical triggers. The distinctiveness of this series is in the remarkable flexibility of the chemical bonding between well-defined, self-assembled, subnanometer-thick slabs and the resultant magnetic, transport, and thermodynamic properties of the R5T4 compounds that can be controlled by varying either or both R and T, including mixed rare earth elements on the R-sites and different group 14 (and 13 or 15) elements occupying the T-sites. In addition to chemical means, the interslab interactions are tunable by temperature, pressure, and magnetic field. Presently, a substantial, yet far from complete, body of knowledge exists about the Gd compounds with T = Si and Ge. In contrast, only a little is known about the physics and chemistry of R5T4 alloys with other lanthanides, while compounds with T = Sn and Pb remain virtually unexplored.

Keywords: crystal structures; experimental thermodynamic properties; intermetallic compounds; magnetic properties; phase relationships; structure–property relationships

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