Effect of Ni-doping on magnetism and superconductivity in Eu0.5K0.5Fe2As2

Research paper by Anupam, V. K. Anand, P. L. Paulose, S. Ramakrishnan, C. Geibel, Z. Hossain

Indexed on: 04 Aug '12Published on: 04 Aug '12Published in: Physics - Superconductivity


The effect of Ni-doping on the magnetism and superconductivity in Eu0.5K0.5Fe2As2 has been studied through a systematic investigation of magnetic and superconducting properties of Eu0.5K0.5(Fe1-xNix)2As2 (x = 0, 0.03, 0.05, 0.08 and 0.12) compounds by means of dc and ac magnetic susceptibilities, electrical resistivity and specific heat measurements. Eu0.5K0.5Fe2As2 is known to exhibit superconductivity with superconducting transition temperature Tc as high as 33 K. The Ni-doping leads to a rapid decrease in Tc; Tc is reduced to 23 K with 3% Ni-doping, and 8% Ni-doping suppresses the superconductivity to below 1.8 K. In 3% Ni-doped sample Eu0.5K0.5(Fe0.97Ni0.03)2As2 superconductivity coexists with short range ordering of Eu2+ magnetic moments at Tm ~ 6 K. The suppression of superconductivity with Ni-doping is accompanied with the emergence of a long range antiferromagnetic ordering with TN = 8.5 K and 7 K for Eu0.5K0.5(Fe0.92Ni0.08)2As2 and Eu0.5K0.5(Fe0.88Ni0.12)2As2, respectively. The temperature and field dependent magnetic measurements for x = 0.08 and 0.12 samples reflect the possibility of a helical magnetic ordering of Eu2 moments. We suspect that the helimagnetism of Eu spins could be responsible for the destruction of superconductivity as has been observed in Co-doped EuFe2As2. The most striking feature seen in the resistivity data for x = 0.08 is the reappearance of the anomaly presumably due to spin density wave transition at around 60 K. This could be attributed to the compensation of holes (K-doping at Eu-site) by the electrons (Ni-doping at Fe site). The anomaly associated with spin density wave further shifts to 200 K for x = 0.12 for which the electron doping has almost compensated the holes in the system.