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  1. Abstract

    CeOs4Sb12, a member of the skutterudite family, has an unusual semimetallic low-temperatureL-phase that inhabits a wedge-like area of the fieldH—temperatureTphase diagram. We have conducted measurements of electrical transport and megahertz conductivity on CeOs4Sb12single crystals under pressures of up to 3 GPa and in high magnetic fields of up to 41 T to investigate the influence of pressure on the differentHTphase boundaries. While the high-temperature valence transition between the metallicH-phase and theL-phase is shifted to higherTby pressures of the order of 1 GPa, we observed only a marginal suppression of theS-phase that is found below 1 K for pressures of up to 1.91 GPa. High-field quantum oscillations have been observed for pressures up to 3.0 GPa and the Fermi surface of the high-field side of theH-phase is found to show a surprising decrease in size with increasing pressure, implying a change in electronic structure rather than a mere contraction of lattice parameters. We evaluate the field-dependence of the effective masses for different pressures and also reflect on the sample dependence of some of the properties of CeOs4Sb12which appears to be limitedmore »to the low-field region.

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  2. Abstract

    Although low-dimensionalS = 1 antiferromagnets remain of great interest, difficulty in obtaining high-quality single crystals of the newest materials hinders experimental research in this area. Polycrystalline samples are more readily produced, but there are inherent problems in extracting the magnetic properties of anisotropic systems from powder data. Following a discussion of the effect of powder-averaging on various measurement techniques, we present a methodology to overcome this issue using thermodynamic measurements. In particular we focus on whether it is possible to characterise the magnetic properties of polycrystalline, anisotropic samples using readily available laboratory equipment. We test the efficacy of our method using the magnets [Ni(H2O)2(3,5-lutidine)4](BF4)2and Ni(H2O)2(acetate)2(4-picoline)2, which have negligible exchange interactions, as well as the antiferromagnet [Ni(H2O)2(pyrazine)2](BF4)2, and show that we are able to extract the anisotropy parameters in each case. The results obtained from the thermodynamic measurements are checked against electron-spin resonance and neutron diffraction. We also present a density functional method, which incorporates spin–orbit coupling to estimate the size of the anisotropy in [Ni(H2O)2(pyrazine)2](BF4)2.