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Title: On the Chemistry and Physical Properties of Flux and Floating Zone Grown SmB6 Single Crystals

Recent theoretical and experimental findings suggest the long-known but not well understood low temperature resistance plateau of SmB6 may originate from protected surface states arising from a topologically non-trivial bulk band structure having strong Kondo hybridization. Yet others have ascribed this feature to impurities, vacancies, and surface reconstructions. Given the typical methods used to prepare SmB6 single crystals, flux and floating-zone procedures, such ascriptions should not be taken lightly. We demonstrate how compositional variations and/or observable amounts of impurities in SmB6 crystals grown using both procedures affect the physical properties. From X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, and X-ray computed tomography experiments we observe that natural isotope containing (SmB6) and doubly isotope enriched (154Sm11B6) crystals prepared using aluminum flux contain co-crystallized, epitaxial aluminum. Further, a large, nearly stoichiometric crystal of SmB6 was successfully grown using the float-zone technique; upon continuing the zone melting, samarium vacancies were introduced. These samarium vacancies drastically alter the resistance and plateauing magnitude of the low temperature resistance compared to stoichiometric SmB6. Finally, these results highlight that impurities and compositional variations, even at low concentrations, must be considered when collecting/analyzing physical property data of SmB6. Finally, a more accurate samarium-154 coherent neutron scattering length, 8.9(1) fm, is reported.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Quantum Condensed Matter Division
  3. Johns Hopkins Univ., Laurel, MD (United States). Applied Physics Lab.
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Chemical and Engineering Materials Division
  5. Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-08ER46544; NSF-DMR1306392; AC02-06CH11357; AC05 00OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States