Solid State & Structural Chemistry

Intermetallics have found important applications in various areas such as structural materials in aircraft, superconductors in magnetic resonance imaging instruments, magnets in computer disk drives, thermoelectric materials and shape memory alloys. Intermetallic compounds are a combination of two or more metals with properties such low density, high specific yield strength (yield strength/density), high specific stiffness, good oxidation resistance and good creep resistance at high temperatures make them occupy an intermediate position between alloys and ceramics. Their crystal structure is different than their constituent elements and exhibit metallic behaviour with more localized covalent bonding.

The aim of our group is the synthesis of binary, ternary and Quaternary intermetallics by exploratory metal flux method. After establishing the crystal structure using single crystal X-ray diffraction, the synthesis will be scaled up using conventional techniques like arc-melting, high frequency induction furnace and ceramic methods. The compounds will be characterized XRD, SEM/EDX, TEM, IR, UV etc. Magnetic and transport properties of these compound will be measured. The group has succeeded in the synthesis of various new compounds (Yb5Ga2Sb6, Yb2AuGe3, YbCu4Ga8, Yb7Ni4InGe12 etc.) and various new structural types. A specific focus will be given to the compounds between Ce, Eu and Yb as they are expected to exhibit mixed valency, which may lead to interesting physical properties like heavy Fermion, Kondo, super conductivity, zero thermal expansion etc.