Superconducting, valence fluctuating and magnetic properties of some rare earth intermetallic compounds

The present work is concerned with the studies of superconductivity, valence fluctuation and magnetism in rare earth intermetallics. Our search for superconductivity (sc) in Ni-containing rare earth intermetallics led to the discovery of two superconducting materials (i) Y-Ni-B-C, Tc ~12 K (a four-element intermetallic superconductor reported for the first time) and (ii) Lu2Ni3Si8, Tc ~2.1 K (a rare-earth based Ni-containing ternary superconductor, also reported for the first time). Our observation of weak superconductivity in our sample of YNi4B eventually led to the discovery of Y-Ni-B-C system. Discovery of sc in Y-Ni-B-C system at an elevated temperature is a path breaking event which has given rise to an entirely new field of superconductivity,namely, quaternary superconductors. Our studies suggest that YNi2B2C is a strong coupling type-II sc with unconventional temperature dependence of Hc2(T). Ce ions are in intermediate valence state (close to 4+ ) in CeNi4B. More Info

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