Superconductivity in the platinum germanides MPt4Ge12 (M = rare-earth or alkaline-earth metal) with filled skutterudite structure

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Jan 11;100(1):017002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.017002. Epub 2008 Jan 8.


New germanium-platinum compounds with the filled-skutterudite crystal structure were synthesized. The crystal structure and composition were investigated by x-ray diffraction and microprobe analysis. Magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, and electrical resistivity measurements evidence superconductivity in LaPt4Ge12 and PrPt4Ge12 below 8.3 K. The parameters of the normal and superconducting states were established. Strong coupling and a crystal electric field singlet ground state is found for the Pr compound. Electronic structure calculations show a large density of states at the Fermi level. Similar behavior with lower Tc was observed for SrPt4Ge12 and BaPt4Ge12.