One-Dimensional Tellurium Chains: Crystal Structure and Thermodynamic Properties of PrCuₓTe₂ (x ~ 0.45)


X-ray diffraction, crystal structure, magnetization, and heat capacity results are presented for the rare earth chalcogenide ternary system PrCu₀.₄₅Te₂ and its non-4⨍ analogue LaCu₀.₄₀Te₂. The crystal structure of PrCu₀.₄₅Te₂ is characterized by chains of edge and corner-sharing CuTe₄ tetrahedra and Pr centered in polyhedra comprised of Cu and Te. The Cu site is partially occupied and exhibits signatures of local disorder. Magnetic susceptibility measurements show a Curie-Weiss temperature dependence consistent with a Pr³⁺ state. No magnetic ordering is observed down to 1.8 K, but the negative Curie-Weiss temperature suggests an antiferromagnetic exchange interaction. Importantly, the low temperature heat capacity of PrCu₀.₄₅Te₂ is strongly enhanced by comparison to LaCu₀.₄₀Te₂, suggesting that there is a build-up of entropy that is associated with the 4f-electrons from the Pr³⁺ ions. These features reveal possible spin frustration behavior and introduce this family of materials as a template for studying new phenomenon.


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Semiconductors, Crystal growth, Thermoelectric materials, Matter—Properties, Copper, Chalcogenides, Rhenium, Superconductivity, Chemistry, Praseodymium, Lanthanum, Tellurium

National Science Foundation CAREER Award 1541230; National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research 1700030; Department of Energy SC0002613; Agreements No. Division of Materials Research 1157490 and No. Division of Materials Research 1644779


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