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Yb3AuGe2In3: An Ordered Variant of the YbAuIn Structure Exhibiting Mixed-Valent Yb Behavior

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posted on 21.02.2011, 00:00 by Maria Chondroudi, Sebastian C. Peter, Christos D. Malliakas, Mali Balasubramanian, Qing’An Li, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
Yb3AuGe2In3 was obtained as large single crystals in high yield from reactions run in liquid indium. Single crystal X-ray diffraction data show that Yb3AuGe2In3 is an ordered variant of YbAuIn with lattice constants, a = b = 7.3153(8) Å and c = 4.4210(5) Å, and space group P6̅2m. The parent compound YbAuIn was also studied for comparison. YbAuIn crystallizes in the ZrNiAl structure type, hexagonal, P6̅2m space group with lattice parameters a = b = 7.7127(11) Å and c = 4.0294(8) Å. In Yb3AuGe2In3, Ge substitutes for one of the two Au positions in the ternary compound Yb3Au3In3. The structure can be described as alternating [Ge2In3] and [Yb3Au] slabs that stack along the c-axis. The magnetic susceptibility data follow a modified Curie−Weiss law. The effective magnetic moment μeff of 0.52 μB/Yb atom was deduced from the Curie constant and Curie−Weiss constant of θp = −1.5 K indicating antiferromagnetic interactions in Yb3AuGe2In3. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) measurements indicate intermediate valency for Yb in both compounds. The metallic nature of both compounds was confirmed by the resistivity measurements. Specific heat data for Yb3AuGe2In3 and YbAuIn give an electronic γ term of 31 and 84 mJ/mol·K2, respectively, suggesting that the ternary analog is a “light” heavy fermion compound.