Superconductivity induced by spark erosion in Zr Zn2

E. A. Yelland, S. M. Hayden, S. J.C. Yates, C. Pfleiderer, M. Uhlarz, R. Vollmer, H. V. Löhneysen, N. R. Bernhoeft, R. P. Smith, S. S. Saxena, N. Kimura

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We show that the superconductivity observed recently in the weak itinerant ferromagnet Zr Zn2 [C. Pfleiderer, Nature (London) 412, 58 (2001)] is due to remnants of a superconducting layer induced by spark erosion. Results of resistivity, susceptibility, specific heat, and surface analysis measurements on high-quality Zr Zn2 crystals show that cutting by spark erosion leaves a superconducting surface layer. The resistive superconducting transition is destroyed by chemically etching a layer of 5 μm from the sample. No signature of superconductivity is observed in ρ (T) of etched samples at the lowest current density measured, J=675 A m-2, and at T≥45 mK. Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis shows that spark-eroded surfaces are strongly Zn depleted. The simplest explanation of our results is that the superconductivity results from an alloy with higher Zr content than Zr Zn2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214523
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1


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