Synthesis of nanoscale Heusler compounds
The extremely variable electronic structure of the Heusler phases, compounds of the general compositon X2YZ (X and Y being transition or lanthanide metals, whereas Z is a main group element), allows for a tuning of many physical properties. Heusler compounds are therefore intensively studied and widely used as semiconductors, hard magnets, giant magnetoresitant or magneto caloric materials, thermoelectrics, and spintronic materials. However, investigations on nanostructured Heusler phases are scarce although the size-confinement may result in material’s properties quite distinct from those of the bulk phases.
In this project we aim at the synthesis of nanoscale Heusler compounds to investigate the influence of the size confinement on the chemical and physical properties. The samples will be prepared by a new low-temperature synthesis route which also allows to address metastable compounds with hitherto unknown element combinations and novel materials properties.