We report a magnetization, magnetostriction, electrical resistivity, specific heat and neutron scattering study of a UNi2/3Rh 1/3Al single crystal, a solid solution of an antiferromagnet UNiAl and a ferromagnet URhAl. The huge uniaxial magnetic anisotropy confining the principal magnetic response to the c axis in the parent compounds persists also for the solid solution. The magnetization curve at 1.6 K has a pronounced S shape with an inflection at 12 T. The temperature dependence of magnetic susceptibility exhibits a maximum around 10 K and is magnetic history dependent at lower temperatures where the resistivity increases linearly with decreasing temperature. The low-temperature ρ(T) anomaly is removed in a magnetic field applied along c, which yields a large negative magnetoresistance amounting to -46 μΩ in 14 T (at 2 K). The C/T values exhibit a minimum around 12 K and below 8 K they become nearly constant (about 250 mJ mol -1 K-2), which is strongly affected by magnetic fields. Neutron scattering data confirm a non-magnetic ground state of UNi 2/3Rh1/3Al. The bulk properties at low temperatures are tentatively attributed to the freezing of U magnetic moments with antiferromagnetic correlations. The additional intensities detected on top of nuclear reflections in neutron diffraction in a magnetic field applied along c are found to be proportional to the field-induced magnetization, which reflects field-induced ferromagnetic coupling of U magnetic moments. This scenario is corroborated also by finding low-temperature magnetostriction data that also scale with the square of magnetization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics