Single crystal growth of Al-based intermetallic phases being approximants to quasicrystals
Journal of Crystal Growth 318(1): 1016-1020
Decagonal (d) quasicrystals are formed in a number of Al-based ternary systems with d-AlCoNi being the best studied decagonal phase. They are highly anisotropic showing unusual properties of e.g. electric and thermal transport when measured along the periodic or quasiperiodic directions. For a long time, this has been attributed to the lack of periodicity in certain crystallographic orientations. Some neighbouring phases in the Al–Co–Ni system as well as in related ternaries consist of the same type of large icosahedral clusters, but are periodic in all three directions, sometimes with very large unit cells. Therefore, they are called approximants to the decagonal quasicrystals. They allow comparative studies of these phases as to judge whether some unusual properties of quasicrystals arise from the lack of periodicity or from the common atomic arrangements. Additional to decagonal AlCoNi quasicrystals, various approximants (monoclinic Al13(Co,Ni)4, orthorhombic Al13Co4, orthorhombic Al4(Cr,Fe), monoclinic Al13Fe4 and its ternary extensions Al13(Fe,Cr)4 and Al13(Fe,Ni)4) were grown by the Czochralski method as large single crystals as to carry out transport orientation-dependent measurements. It could be found that transport properties show remarkably similar anisotropic features when comparing corresponding crystallographic directions in these phases that can be related to the periodic stacking of layers.