Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Gordon J. Miller
The binary, ternary and multicomponent intermetallic compounds of rare-earth metals (RE) with group 14 elements (Tt) at the RE5Tt4 stoichiometry have been known for over 30 years, but only in the past decade have these materials become a gold mine for solid-state chemistry, materials science and condensed matter physics. It all started with the discovery of a giant magnetocaloric effect in Gd5Si2Ge2, along with other extraordinary magnetic properties, such as a colossal magnetostriction and giant magnetoresistance. The distinctiveness of this series is in the remarkable flexibility of the chemical bonding between well-defined, subnanometer-thick slabs and the resultant magnetic, transport, and thermodynamic properties of these materials. This can be controlled by varying either or both RE and Tt elements, including mixed rare-earth elements on the RE sites and different group 14 (or T = group 13 or 15) elements occupying the Tt sites. In addition to chemical means, the interslab interactions are also tunable by temperature, pressure, and magnetic field. Thus, this system provides a splendid ''playground'' to investigate the interrelationships among composition, structure, physical properties, and chemical bonding. The work presented in this dissertation involving RE5T4 materials has resulted in the successful synthesis, characterization, property measurements, and theoretical analyses of various new intermetallic compounds. The results provide significant insight into the fundamental magnetic and structural behavior of these materials and help us better understand the complex link between a compound's composition, its observed structure, and its properties.
Misra, Sumohan, "Structural flexibility in magnetocaloric RE5T4 (RE = rare-earth; T = Si, Ge, Ga) materials: Effect of chemical substitution on structure, bonding and properties" (2008). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11379.