Electronic properties and superconductivity of rapidly quenched Al-Si alloys

The authors present detailed studies of electronic properties of Al-Si alloys prepared in a nonequilibrium state by means of rapid solidification. The quenched alloys exhibit an enhanced superconducting transition temperature up to 6.2 K in an Al-Si 30 at.% alloy as well as an increased thermal slope of resistivity. Using differential scanning calorimetry, a large enthalpy variation (ΔH=4.1 kJ/mole for Al-Si 30 at.%) has been measured during the irreversible transition from the nonequilibrium state to the equilibrium one. This is mainly attributed to the energy difference between the metallic state of silicon atoms trapped in FCC aluminum matrix during quenching and the usual covalent state of silicon precipitates in an equilibrium state. This large energy difference is presented as the origin of a lattice instability which softens the phonon spectrum and gives rise to a stronger electron-phonon coupling. This appears to be a characteristic property of nonequilibrium Al-Si solid solutions, which is associated with the metallic state of silicon atoms. An interpretation of the Tc enhancement is proposed for both Al-Si and Al-Ge alloys based on the phonon softening in these nonequilibrium crystalline alloys

Published in:
Physical Review B, 36, 17, 9115-9121

 Record created 2007-03-26, last modified 2018-03-17

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