Enhancement of Superconducting T c (33 K) by Entrapment of FeSe in Carbon Coated Au--Pd17Se15 Nanoparticles
FeSe has been an interesting member of the Fe-based superconductor family ever since the discovery of superconductivity in this simple binary chalcogenide. Simplicity of composition and ease of synthesis has made FeSe, in particular, very lucrative as a test system to understand the unconventional nature of superconductivity, especially in low-dimensional models. In this article we report the synthesis of composite nanoparticles containing FeSe nanoislands entrapped within an ent-FeSe-Pd16Se15"“Au nanoparticle and sharing an interface with Pd17Se15. This assembly exhibits a significant enhancement in the superconducting Tc (onset at 33 K) accompanied by a noticeable lattice compression of FeSe along the âŸ¨001âŸ© and âŸ¨101âŸ© directions. The Tc in FeSe is very sensitive to application of pressure and it has been shown that with increasing external pressure Tc can be increased almost 4-fold. In these composite nanoparticles reported here, immobilization of FeSe on the Pd17Se15 surface contributes to increasing the effect of interfacial pressure, thereby enhancing the Tc. The effect of interfacial pressure is also manifested in the contraction of the FeSe lattice (up to 3.8% in âŸ¨001âŸ© direction) as observed through extensive high-resolution TEM imaging. The confined FeSe in these nanoparticles occupied a region of approximately 15"“25 nm, where lattice compression was uniform over the entire FeSe region, thereby maximizing its effect in enhancing the Tc. The nanoparticles have been synthesized by a simple catalyst-aided vapor transport reaction at 800 Â°C where iron acetylacetonate and Se were used as precursors. Morphology and composition of these nanoparticles have been studied in details through extensive electron microscopy.