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Superconductivity with High Upper Critical Field in the Cubic Centrosymmetric $\eta$-Carbide $Nb_4Rh_2C_{1−\sigma}$


Ma, KeYuan; Gornicka, Karolina; Lefèvre, Robin; Yang, Yikai; Rønnow, Henrik M; Jeschke, Harald O; Klimczuk, Tomasz; Von Rohr, Fabian O (2021). Superconductivity with High Upper Critical Field in the Cubic Centrosymmetric $\eta$-Carbide $Nb_4Rh_2C_{1−\sigma}$. ACS Materials Au, 1(1):55-61.

Abstract

The upper critical field is a fundamental measure of the strength of superconductivity in a material. It is also a cornerstone for the realization of superconducting magnet applications. The critical field arises because of the Cooper pair breaking at a limiting field, which is due to the Pauli paramagnetism of the electrons. The maximal possible magnetic field strength for this effect is commonly known as the Pauli paramagnetic limit given as μ0HPauli ≈ 1.86[T/K]·Tc for a weak-coupling Bardeen–Schrieffer–Cooper (BCS) superconductor. The violation of this limit is only rarely observed. Exceptions include some low-temperature heavy Fermion and some strongly anisotropic superconductors. Here, we report on the superconductivity at 9.75 K in the centrosymmetric, cubic η-carbide-type compound Nb4Rh2C1−δ, with a normalized specific heat jump of ΔC/γTc = 1.64. We find that this material has a remarkably high upper critical field of μ0Hc2(0) = 28.5 T, which is exceeding by far its weak-coupling BCS Pauli paramagnetic limit of μ0HPauli = 18.1 T. Determination of the origin and consequences of this effect will represent a significant new direction in the study of critical fields in superconductors.

Abstract

The upper critical field is a fundamental measure of the strength of superconductivity in a material. It is also a cornerstone for the realization of superconducting magnet applications. The critical field arises because of the Cooper pair breaking at a limiting field, which is due to the Pauli paramagnetism of the electrons. The maximal possible magnetic field strength for this effect is commonly known as the Pauli paramagnetic limit given as μ0HPauli ≈ 1.86[T/K]·Tc for a weak-coupling Bardeen–Schrieffer–Cooper (BCS) superconductor. The violation of this limit is only rarely observed. Exceptions include some low-temperature heavy Fermion and some strongly anisotropic superconductors. Here, we report on the superconductivity at 9.75 K in the centrosymmetric, cubic η-carbide-type compound Nb4Rh2C1−δ, with a normalized specific heat jump of ΔC/γTc = 1.64. We find that this material has a remarkably high upper critical field of μ0Hc2(0) = 28.5 T, which is exceeding by far its weak-coupling BCS Pauli paramagnetic limit of μ0HPauli = 18.1 T. Determination of the origin and consequences of this effect will represent a significant new direction in the study of critical fields in superconductors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Language:English
Date:8 September 2021
Deposited On:07 Jul 2021 12:18
Last Modified:02 Mar 2022 08:20
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:2694-2461
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmaterialsau.1c00011
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPCEFP2_194183
  • : Project TitleDiscovery of Topological Superconductivity by Combining Physical and Chemical Design Principles
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPZ00P2_174015
  • : Project TitleChemistry and Physics of Nitride Based Materials

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