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Negative Magnetoresistance in a Magnetic Semiconducting Zintl Phase: Eu3In2P4

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A new rare earth metal Zintl phase, Eu(3)In(2)P(4), was synthesized by utilizing a metal flux method. The compound crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group Pnnm with the cell parameters a = 16.097(3) A, b = 6.6992(13) A, c = 4.2712(9) A, and Z = 2 (T = 90(2) K, R1 = 0.0159, wR2 = 0.0418 for all data). It is isostructural to Sr(3)In(2)P(4). The structure consists of tetrahedral dimers, [In(2)P(2)P(4/2)](6-), that form a one-dimensional chain along the c axis. Three europium atoms interact via a Eu-Eu distance of 3.7401(6) A to form a straight line triplet. Single-crystal magnetic measurements show anisotropy at 30 K and a magnetic transition at 14.5 K. High-temperature data give a positive Weiss constant, which suggests ferromagnetism, while the shape of susceptibility curves (chi vs T) suggests antiferromagnetism. Heat capacity shows a magnetic transition at 14.5 K that is suppressed with field. This compound is a semiconductor according to the temperature-dependent resistivity measurements with a room-temperature resistivity of 0.005(1) Omega m and E(g) = 0.452(4) eV. It shows negative magnetoresistance below the magnetic ordering temperature. The maximum magnetoresistance (Deltarho/rho(H)) is 30% at 2 K with H = 5 T.

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