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Modification of the physical properties of intermetallics with the CeScSi structure type by light element insertion (H, C)

Abstract : Rare earth based intermetallics RTX (R = rare earth, T = transition metal, X = Si, Ge)crystallising in the layered CeScSi structure type contain vacant interstitial sites that can be filled bylight elements to modify the initial physical properties. Hydrogenation studies on CeScSi-typecompounds show that hydrogen atoms are inserted in the tetrahedral (R4) sites and sometimes inthe octahedral (R2Sc4) sites. This causes an anisotropic expansion of the unit cell with a decreasingand c strongly increasing. It also drastically lowers the magnetic ordering temperatures of the parentmaterials and changes their resistivity behaviour.We developed a multi-step process to synthesise intermetallic carbides (RTXCX) with controllable Ccontent. Neutron diffraction shows that C occupies only the R2Sc4 sites of the RScSi compounds (R =La-Nd and Gd) causing the increase of the a cell parameter and the decrease of the c one. We obtainRScSiCX solid solutions with 0.0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5 for R = Ce and 0.25 <̰ x ≤ 0.5 for R = Nd. Carburation reducesthe Curie and Néel temperature of the NdScSi and CeScSi pristine phases, respectively.As the R4 tetrahedra are empty in the RScSiCX carbides, we have succeeded in hydrogenating thesematerials (R = Ce and Nd). However, due to the antagonistic structural distortion induced by C and Hinsertion respectively, only around 15 % of the R4 sites could be filled for a final composition ofRScSiC0.5H~0.15. It also changes the type of magnetic behaviour from a ferromagnetic order to anantiferromagnetic order in NdScSiC0.5.Neutron diffraction experiments have been performed to determine the magnetic structures ofthese new insertion compounds.
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Tadhg Mahon. Modification of the physical properties of intermetallics with the CeScSi structure type by light element insertion (H, C). Material chemistry. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0779⟩. ⟨tel-01699063⟩

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