Antiferromagnetic semiconductor Eu3Sn2P4 with Sn–Sn dimer and crown-wrapped Eu
A novel antiferromagnetic semiconductor, Eu3Sn2P4, has been discovered. Single crystals of Eu3Sn2P4 were prepared using the Sn self-flux method. The crystal structure determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction shows that Eu3Sn2P4 crystallizes in the orthorhombic structure with the space group Cmca (Pearson Symbol, oP216). Six Sn–Sn dimers connected by P atoms form a Sn12P24 crown-shaped cluster with a Eu atom located in the center. Magnetization measurements indicate that the system orders antiferromagnetically below a TN ∼14 K at a low field and undergoes a metamagnetic transition at a high field when T < TN. The effective magnetic moment is 7.41(3) μB per Eu, corresponding to Eu2+. The electric resistivity reveals a non-monotonic temperature dependence with non-metallic behavior below ∼60 K, consistent with the band structure calculations. By fitting the data using the thermally activated resistivity formula, we estimate the energy gap to be ∼0.14 eV. Below TN, the resistivity tends to saturate, suggesting the reduction of charge-spin scattering.