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Title: High-pressure synthesis of electronic materials
Author: Penny, George B. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 705X
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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High-pressure techniques have become increasingly important in the synthesis of ceramic and metallic solids allowing the discovery of new materials with interesting properties. In this research dense solid oxides have been synthesised at high pressures, and structural investigations have been conducted using x-ray and neutron diffraction. The perovskite LaPdO3 has been synthesised at pressures of 6{10GPa. Neutron diffraction studies have been carried out from 7{260K to investigate any structural distortions, particularly related to the possibility of charge order at low temperatures. No reduction in symmetry associated with charge ordering has been observed; the material appears to remain metallic with only one unique Pd site down to 7K. LaPdO3 adopts the GdFeO3-type Pbnm structure. The PdO6 octahedra exhibit a tetragonal distortion throughout the temperature range with a shortening of the apical Pd{O bonds of 2:5% relative to the equatorial bonds. Attempts to prepare analogues of the perovskite containing smaller rare earths have resulted in multi-phase samples, and further RPdO3 perovskites remain inaccessible although there is evidence for a small amount of the perovskite phase in the products of synthesis attempts with neodymium. Three new oxypnictide superconductors, RFeAsO1 xFx (R = Tb, Dy and Ho) have been synthesised at 7{12GPa. The materials are isostructural with other recently discovered iron arsenide superconductors and have Tc's of 52:8 K, 48:5K and 36:2K respectively, demonstrating a downturn in Tc in the series for smaller R. Systematic studies on TbFeAsO0.9F0.1 and HoFeAsO0.9F0.1 show negative values of dTc=dV in contrast to those reported for early R containing materials. Low-temperature neutron diffraction measurements on both materials, and synchrotron studies on HoFeAsO0.9F0.1 reveal no tetragonal to orthorhombic transitions as observed in early R-containing materials with lower doping levels. Magnetic reflections are evident but they are shown to be from R2O3 and RAs impurities with TN's of 5:5K for Tb2O3, 6:5K for HoAs and 1:7K < TN < 4K for Ho2O3. The implications of these results for superconductivity in the iron arsenides are discussed.
Supervisor: Attfield, Paul. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: high pressure ; dense solid oxides ; structural investigations ; x-ray ; neutron diffraction ; superconductivity