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Title: Much more to explore with an oxidation state of nearly four: Pr valence instability in intermetallic m -Pr 2 Co 3 Ge 5

For some intermetallic compounds containing lanthanides, structural transitions can result in intermediate electronic states between trivalency and tetravalency; however, this is rarely observed for praseodymium compounds. The dominant trivalency of praseodymium limits potential discoveries of emergent quantum states in itinerant 4f1systems accessible using Pr4+-based compounds. Here, we use in situ powder x-ray diffraction and in situ electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) to identify an intermetallic example of a dominantly Pr4+state in the polymorphic system Pr2Co3Ge5. The structure-valence transition from a nearly full Pr4+electronic state to a typical Pr3+state shows the potential of Pr-based intermetallic compounds to host valence-unstable states and provides an opportunity to discover previously unknown quantum phenomena. In addition, this work emphasizes the need for complementary techniques like EELS when evaluating the magnetic and electronic properties of Pr intermetallic systems to reveal details easily overlooked when relying on bulk magnetic measurements alone.

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Science Advances
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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