Chemistry and Physics Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Searching for Signatures of Superconductivity in Rare Earth Oxides

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Electronic Materials and Applications, Orlando, Florida, January 20-22, 2016

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A search for new high-temperature superconductors with layered structures was inspired by a general valence pairing approach. RE-M-Ox compounds containing RE2+,3+ and M3+,4+ were synthesized using conventional solid-state reactions in which RE2O3 and M2O3 were pelletized and heated to 1200-1500°C. The structures and phase-purity of the bulk materials were analyzed via Rietveld refinement using X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) data, while magnetic properties were assessed using zero-field cooled (ZFC) and field-cooled (FC) vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). The polycrystalline product mixtures were analyzed using Magnetic Field Modulated Microwave Spectroscopy (MFMMS), which can be used to selectively detect superconducting transitions with high sensitivity. High-resolution synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SXRPD) complements MFMMS by allowing the identification of low weight fraction phases that may give rise to interesting spectral features. As a result, binary rare earth oxides (e.g., RE-M-O3, RE2-M-O5) with phase-purity were targeted for property analysis.