Physical properties of RBi2 (R = La, Ce) under pressure

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2019-09-24
Authors
Xiang, Li
Gati, Elena
Neilson, Kathryn
Bud’ko, Sergey
Canfield, Paul
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Ames National LaboratoryPhysics and Astronomy
Abstract

We present a study of electrical transport properties of RBi2 (R=La,Ce) under hydrostatic pressure up to ∼2.5 GPa. These measurements are complemented by thermodynamic measurements of the specific heat on CeBi2 at different pressures up to 2.55 GPa. For CeBi2, we find a moderate increase of the antiferromagnetic transition, TN, from 3.3 K to 4.4 K by pressures up to 2.55 GPa. Notably, resistance measurements for both CeBi2 and LaBi2 show signatures of superconductivity for pressures above ∼1.7 GPa. However, the absence of superconducting features in specific-heat measurements for CeBi2 indicates that superconductivity in CeBi2 (and most likely LaBi2 as well) is not bulk and likely originates from traces of Bi flux, either on the surface of the platelike samples, or trapped inside the sample as laminar inclusions. Finally, we point out that extra caution should be exercised when claiming superconductivity based just on transport measurements, especially for Bi-containing compounds.

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