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Th2NiC2: A low density of states superconductor

  • Author(s): Machado, AJS
  • Grant, T
  • Fisk, Z
  • et al.
Abstract

The metallic carbides exhibit many novel prototypes of crystalline structure. Among these compounds Th2NiC2was reported in 1991 as a new carbide which crystallizes in the U2IrC2prototype structure. In this work we report a reinvestigation of the synthesis of this compound. We find that Th2NiC2is a new superconductor. Our results suggest that this phase is stable only at high temperatures in the system ThNiC. The substitution of Th by Sc stabilizes the phase and improves the superconducting properties. The highest superconducting critical temperature occurs at 11.2K with nominal composition Th1.8Sc0.2NiC2. The electronic coefficient determined by specific heat measurements is close to zero. This unusual result can be explained by covalent bonding in the compound. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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