Observation of a low-symmetry crystal structure for superconducting MgCNi3 by Ni K-edge x-ray absorption measurements

A. Yu Ignatov, L. M. Dieng, T. A. Tyson, T. He, R. J. Cava

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The local atomic structure of MgCNi3 has been determined over the temperature range of 3 to 300 K by Ni K-edge x-ray absorption fine structure measurements. No anomalies were observed near Tc∼7 K. However, below T* ∼70 K the symmetry of Ni6 octahedra is lower than the cubic Pm- 3m determined by conventional diffraction measurements. We suggest that the onset of local distortions could be closely related with removal of the degeneracy in the electronic states dominated by the Ni d bands. The results are discussed in relation to nuclear magnetic resonance, x-ray photoemission measurements, and the superconductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064509
Pages (from-to)645091-645097
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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