Synthesis of Ultra High Purity Intermetallic Single Crystals

A challenge in studying condensed matter systems is to measure the intrinsic properties of a given compound, since chemical/structural disorder can often hide fundamental behavior. As such, many recent advances in our field stem from the relationship between advanced measurement techniques and improved sample quality.

An example of a well-known material that has benefitted from advances in crystal growth technology is URu2Si2. This compound exhibits an ordered state (“hidden order”) for which the order parameter has not been unambiguously identified, despite three decades of intense research. A solution to the hidden order conundrum may finally be in sight, owing largely to the development of techniques to produce UHP specimens of this material. Another example is that of the correlated electron metals CeTIn5 (T = Co, Rh, Ir), where characterization of the Fermi surface (e.g., using de Haas van Alphen effect, scanning tunneling microscopy, and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy) was recently enabled by UHP single crystal specimens. To address related challenges in other materials, we are undertaking a program to synthesize UHP samples for in-house and collaborative studies. In particular, we focus on advanced molten metal flux growth techniques and floating zone image furnace techniques for intermetallics.

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Last modified on 28 April 2015