The interplay between unconventional superconductivity and quantum critical ferromagnetism in the U-Ge compounds represents an open problem in strongly correlated electron systems. Sample quality can have a strong influence on both of these ordered states in the compound UCoGe, as is true for most unconventional superconductors. We report results of a different approach at UCoGe crystal growth using a floating-zone method with potential for improvements of sample quality and size as compared with traditional means such as Czochralski growth. Single crystals of the ferromagnetic superconductor UCoGe were produced using an ultra-high vacuum electron-beam floating-zone refining technique. Annealed single crystals show well-defined signatures of bulk ferromagnetism and superconductivity at Tc∼2.6K and Ts∼0.61K, respectively, in the resistivity and heat capacity. Scanning electron microscopy of samples with different surface treatments shows evidence of an off-stoichiometric uranium-rich phase of UCoGe collected in cracks and voids that might be limiting sample quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)