Phase decomposition and chemical inhomogeneity in Nd2-xCexCuO4+δ

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.70.094507
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePhysical Review B : Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume70
Issue9
Pages094507-1094507-15; # of pages: 15
AbstractExtensive X-ray and neutron scattering experiments and additional transmission electron microscopy results reveal the partial decomposition of Nd2-xCexCuO4 (NCCO) in a low-oxygen-fugacity environment such as that typically realized during the annealing process required to create a superconducting state. Unlike a typical situation in which a disordered secondary phase results in diffuse powder scattering, a serendipitous match between the in-plane lattice constant of NCCO and the lattice constant of one of the decomposition products, (Nd,Ce)2O3, causes the secondary phase to form an oriented, quasi-two-dimensional epitaxial structure. Consequently, diffraction peaks from the secondary phase appear at rational positions (H,K,0) in the reciprocal space of NCCO. Additionally, because of neodymium paramagnetism, the application of a magnetic field increases the low-temperature intensity observed at these positions via neutron scattering. Such effects may mimic the formation of a structural superlattice or the strengthening of antiferromagnetic order of NCCO, but the intrinsic mechanism may be identified through careful and systematic experimentation. For typical reduction conditions, the (Nd,Ce)2O3 volume fraction is ~1%, and the secondary-phase layers exhibit long-range order parallel to the NCCO CuO2 sheets and are 50-100 angstromsthick. The presence of the secondary phase should also be taken into account in the analysis of other experiments on NCCO, such as transport measurements.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number12338548
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Record identifier27cf3874-68e9-4ad8-b1d1-49e06f38d4fa
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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