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Cerium compounds in the fashion of the light actinides

Physica B+C
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0378-4363(85)90204-9


Abstract Researchers familiar with the light actinides easily recognize in cerium compounds a microcosm of the rich variety of properties seen in the light actinides. The parallelism seen between comparable cerium and actinide compounds strongly suggest that the same physical models are applicable. The most significant is the relative size of the f-orbital. Localization is generally tighter in Ce compounds than uranium compounds, making Ce roughly analogous to Np through Am. A way to see the actinide parallelism is to compare Hill plots. Compounds in the different regions of the plots (representing different physics) are isostructural compounds with the same companion (B) elements. The most common materials expected to exhibit direct f-f interaction are the cubic Laves compounds. Accordingly, we have determined the band structures of CeRu 2, CeRh 2, CeIr 2, and CeNi 2. Surprisingly it was found that an f-d interaction overshadows any direct f-f interaction in these systems. Compounds illustrative of the interaction of f-orbitals with “ligand” orbitals are the Cu 3Au structured materials. Materials calculated in this class are CeRh 3, CePd 3, and CeSn 3 - the materials of much interest as “mixed valent”. Although the focus is on the Ce compounds, calculations performed on uranium isomorphs are used to highlight the interesting physics.

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