Synthesis and properties of AxV2Al20 (A = Th, U, Np, Pu) ternary actinide aluminides
Polycrystalline samples of AxV2Al20 (A = Ce, Th, U, Np, Pu; 0.7 ≤ x ≤ 1.0) actinide intermetallics were synthesized using the arc-melting method. Crystal structure studies were performed by means of powder x-ray diffraction and the Rietveld refinement method. All studied compounds crystallize in the CeCr2Al20-type structure (space group Fd-3m, no. 227) with the actinoid and Ce atom located in the oversized icosahedral cage formed by Al atoms. Comparison of the crystallographic results with the reported data for LnV2Al20 (Ln = lanthanoids) counterparts reveals distinctly different behaviour of the lanthanoid- and actinoid-bearing compounds. This difference is suggested to be caused by fairly localized character of the 4f electrons, whereas itinerant character of the 5f electrons is likely seen for U- and Np-containing phases. Magnetic susceptibility and specific heat measurements did not reveal any magnetic ordering in U0.8V2Al20, Np0.8V2Al20 and Pu0.8V2Al20 down to 2.5 K. A small anomaly in low-temperature specific heat of Ce0.8V2Al20, U0.8V2Al20, and Np0.8V2Al20 is observed, likely arising from a low-energy Einstein mode.
Michał Jerzy Winiarski, Jean-Christophe Griveau, Eric Colineau, Konrad Wochowski, Piotr Wiśniewski, Dariusz Kaczorowski, Roberto Caciuffo, Tomasz Klimczuk. (2017). Synthesis and properties of AxV2Al20 (A = Th, U, Np, Pu) ternary actinide aluminides, 696, 1113-1119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jallcom.2016.12.033
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