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Eu5Al3Sb6: Al4 Tetrahedra Embedded in a Rock-Salt-Like Structure...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Chemistry of Materials
Publication Date
Page Numbers
5009 to 5019

The new Eu5Al3Sb6 phase has been successfully synthesized as a pure phase through Sn flux methods yielding large, high-quality crystals. This structure type features disordered Al clusters that appear in the form of dual tetrahedra. It crystallizes in the monoclinic C2/m space group exhibiting a rock-salt-like Eu–Sb framework with [Al4] tetrahedra replacing some of the cationic Eu atoms (space group: C2/m, a = 8.151(1) Å, b = 14.181(2) Å, c = 8.145(1) Å, β = 109.577(2)°). The structure models the [Al4] as dual tetrahedra with the Al atom sites 37.5% occupied along with Eu present on the central site at 8% occupancy and the remainder of the site being vacant. The presence of the [Al4] cluster is further supported by HRTEM. Electronic structure calculations show that this material is a semimetal with observed band crossings close to the Fermi level. Strong Al–Sb antibonding interactions were found from COHP calculations close to the Fermi level and provide the rationale for the deficiency of the Al cluster. Mössbauer spectroscopy on Eu-151 and Sb-121 provides oxidation states of 2+ and 3– along with the local environment. Magnetic susceptibility measurements can be described well with a Curie–Weiss law where an effective moment of 7.80 μB/mol Eu is obtained, consistent with Eu2+, and show canted antiferromagnetic behavior below 10 K. Temperature dependent resistivity shows a Kondo-like low-temperature upturn caused by enhanced scattering of the itinerant electrons with the 4f orbitals of Eu.