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Crystal Growth of Quantum Magnets in the Rare-Earth Pyrosilicate Family R2Si2O7 (R = Yb, Er) Using the Optical Floating Zone Method

1
Department of Physics, Colorado State University, 200 W. Lake St., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1875, USA
2
Department of Physics, 500 W. University Ave, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2019, 9(4), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9040196
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 31 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 7 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Floating Zone and Crystals Grown by this Method)
We report on the crystal growth of rare-earth pyrosilicates, R 2Si 2O 7 for R = Yb and Er using the optical floating zone method. The grown crystals comprise members from the family of pyrosilicates where the rare-earth atoms form a distorted honeycomb lattice. C-Yb 2Si 2O 7 is a quantum dimer magnet with field-induced long range magnetic order, while D-Er 2Si 2O 7 is an Ising-type antiferromagnet. Both growths resulted in multi-crystal boules, with cracks forming between the different crystal orientations. The Yb 2Si 2O 7 crystals form the C-type rare-earth pyrosilicate structure with space group C 2 / m and are colorless and transparent or milky white, whereas the Er-variant is D-type, P 2 1 / b , and has a pink hue originating from Er 3 +. The crystal structures of the grown single crystals were confirmed through a Rietveld analysis of the powder X-ray diffraction patterns from pulverized crystals. The specific heat of both C-Yb 2Si 2O 7 and D-Er 2Si 2O 7 measured down to 50 mK indicated a phase transition at T N 1.8 K for D-Er 2Si 2O 7 and a broad Schottky-type feature with a sharp anomaly at 250 mK in an applied magnetic field of 0.8T along the c-axis in the case of C-Yb 2Si 2O 7 . View Full-Text
Keywords: optical floating zone method; rare-earth pyrosilicates; Yb2Si2O7; Er2Si2O7; quantum dimer magnet; Ising antiferromagnet optical floating zone method; rare-earth pyrosilicates; Yb2Si2O7; Er2Si2O7; quantum dimer magnet; Ising antiferromagnet
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nair, H.S.; DeLazzer, T.; Reeder, T.; Sikorski, A.; Hester, G.; Ross, K.A. Crystal Growth of Quantum Magnets in the Rare-Earth Pyrosilicate Family R2Si2O7 (R = Yb, Er) Using the Optical Floating Zone Method. Crystals 2019, 9, 196.

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