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Growth and structural characterization of superconducting Ba1–xKxBiO3 single crystals


Superconductivity near 30 K was discovered recently in a copper-free phase, Ba1–xKxBiO3 (refs 1, 2). This material has structural and electronic properties in common with both the cuprate high-transition-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors3 and with BaPb1–xBixO3, which has a Tc of ˜12 K (ref. 4). Here we report the growth and structural characterization of single crystals of Ba1–xKxBiO3. A maximum Tc of 30.5 K is found from d.c. susceptibility measurements for crystals of approximate composition Ba0.6K0.4BiO3. The structure for a crystal with x = 0.37 is determined by X-ray diffraction and is found to be a simple cubic perovskite with a = 4.2869 (6) Å. A commensurate lattice distortion occurs for x = 0.04, which is identified as a distortion of the BiO6 octahedra. Effects of structural distortions and concomitant changes in electronic properties in this non-magnetic system may contain clues to the role of phonons and electronic interactions in the microscopic pairing mechanism of high-Tc superconductors.

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Schneemeyer, L., Thomas, J., Siegrist, T. et al. Growth and structural characterization of superconducting Ba1–xKxBiO3 single crystals. Nature 335, 421–423 (1988).

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