Strongly correlated systems: Magnetic measurements of magnesium diboride and group IV magnetic semiconductor alloys
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (NMRFM) is a unique quantum microscopy technique, which combines the three-dimensional imaging capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the high sensitivity and resolution of atomic force microscopy (AFM). It has potential applications in many different fields. This novel scanning probe instrument holds potential for atomic-scale resolution.
MgB2 is a classic example of two-band superconductor. However, the behavior of these two bands below the superconducting transition temperature is not well understood yet. Also, the anisotropic relaxation times of single crystal MgB2 have not been measured because it is not yet possible to grow large enough MgB2 single crystals for conventional NMR. Using our homemade NMRFM probe, we have set out to measure the relaxation times of micron size MgB2 single crystals to answer several questions relating to the anisotropy, multiband behavior, and coherence effects in this unusual superconductor.
The goal of a second project is to study the effects of doping on the critical current of MgB2 superconducting wires. Ti-sheathed MgB 2 wires doped with nanosize crystalline-SiC up to a concentration of 15 wt% SiC have been fabricated, and the effects of the SiC doping on the critical current density (Jc) and other superconducting properties studied. In contrast with the previously reported results, our measurements show that SiC doping decreases Jc over almost the whole field range from 0 to 7.3 tesla at all temperatures. Furthermore, it is found that the degradation of Jc becomes stronger at higher SiC doping levels. Our results indicate that these negative effects on Jc could be attributed to the absence of significant effective pinning centers (mainly Mg2Si) due to the high chemical stability of the crystalline-SiC particles.
The principle goal of a third project, the study of magnetic semiconductors, is to investigate magnetic properties of Mn-implanted GeC thin films. 20 keV energy Mn ions were implanted in two samples: (1) bulk Ge (100) and (2) a 250 nm thick epitaxial GeC film, grown on a Si (100) wafer by UHV chemical vapor deposition using a mixture of germane (GeH4) and methylgermane (CH3GeH3) gases. A SQUID magnetometer study shows granular ferromagnetism in both samples. While the Curie temperature for both samples is about 180 K, the in-plane saturated magnetic moment per unit area for the first sample is about 2.2 × 10-5 emu/cm2 and that for the second sample is about 3.0 × 10-5 emu/cm 2. The external field necessary to saturate the magnetic moment is also larger for the second sample. These results show clear enhancement of magnetic properties of the Mn-implanted GeC thin film over the identically implanted Ge layer due to the presence of a small amount of non-magnetic element carbon.