Aluminium substitution induced superstructures in Mg1-xAlxB2 (x = 0.0 to 0.50): An X-ray diffraction study

Physics – Condensed Matter – Superconductivity

Scientific paper

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17 Pages Text + Figs. To appear in Physica C

Scientific paper

10.1016/j.physc.2007.08.005

The physical property characterization of Al doped Mg1-xAlxB2 system with x = 0.0 to 0.50 is reported. The results related to phase formation, structural transition, resistivity R(T) and magnetization M(T) measurements are discussed in detail. It is shown that the addition of electrons to MgB2 through Al results in loss of superconductivity. Also seen is a structural transition associated with the collapse of boron layers reflected by the continuous decrease in the c parameter. The main emphasis in this paper is on slow scan X-ray diffraction (XRD) results, which confirm the existence of a superstructure along the c-direction for the x = 0.50 sample. The appearance of some additional peaks, viz. [103], [004], [104] and [112], results in doubling of the lattice parameter along the c-axis. This possibly indicates the alternative ordering of Al and Mg in MgAlB4 separated by hexagonal boron layers but still maintaining the same hexagonal AlB2 type structure.

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