The superconducting and ferromagnetic phase boundaries in the (Er1-xHox)Rh4B4 mixed ternary alloy system meet in a multicritical point at xcr ≈ 0.9. For xcr, the compounds first become superconducting as the temperature is lowered, and then lose superconductivity in a transition to ferromagnetism. The coexistence of superconductivity and ferromagnetism for alloys near the erbium-rich end of the phase diagram is well established. It has also been suggested that ferromagnetism and superconductivity coexist in alloys with x just below xcr. We have carried out neutron-diffraction, ac magnetic susceptibility, and heat-capacity measurements on a sample of (Er0.16Ho0.84)Rh4B4 to investigate the possibility of coexistence of ferromagnetism and superconductivity for x ≈ xcr. We find that there are minor discrepancies in the superconducting and magnetic transition temperatures reported for different samples of (Er0.16Ho0.84)Rh4B4, but that ferromagnetism and superconductivity do occur simultaneously over a narrow temperature range in this sample. We suggest that an inhomogeneous state occurs, consisting of separate ferromagnetic and superconducting regions, rather than microscopic coexistence.
"Magnetism and Superconductivity in (Er0.16Ho0.84)Rh4B4," Physical Review B, vol. 38, no. 13, pp. 8724-8729, American Physical Society, Nov 1988.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.38.8724
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