A-T-Al aluminides, where A = actinide, lanthanide or rare earth elements and T=transition metals, have attracted considerable attention as potential materials where heavy fermions may be formed. This led to the discovery of superconducting properties in cubic AT2Al20 compounds with CeCr2Al20-type crystal structure. Other Al-rich aluminides, belonging to these A-T-Al systems, exhibited different physical properties as a function of their crystal structure. Thus, predicting the stable structure of the Al-richest phase that will form in the A-T-Al systems is highly valuable. Stability of the crystal structures, forming in the CeT2Al20 and YRe2Al20 systems, was studied in current research using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. It is demonstrated that the total spin magnetic moment of the transition metal can be used as a descriptor for phase stability assessment in the AT2Al20 systems, where T is a 5d transition metal. Basing on crystallographic considerations, degree of distortion of the coordination polyhedrons, formed around T atoms, can be directly connected to the specific type of structure crystallizing in these systems.
- Density functional theory
- Electronic structure