Endohedral cluster intermetallic superconductors: at the frontier between chemistry and physics
When a transition metal combines with an excess of a p-metal, the latter forms endohedral clusters with the number of vertices up to 14. These clusters are the building units of endohedral cluster intermetallic compounds. Although discovered a few decades ago, they have gained renewed interest due to their peculiar crystal and electronic structures and frequently observed superconducting properties. Advances over recent years reveal that endohedral cluster architectures are flexible enough, enabling chemical substitutions and the formation of a series of structurally related phases, where the same clusters can be arranged in different ways. Within the structural series, the superconducting-state parameters, including critical temperature and magnetic field, can be controlled and finely tuned. Herein, we present the most recent results in the chemical properties and superconductivity of endohedral cluster intermetallics and provide an outlook for the field.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Frontier and Perspective articles