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|All Authors / Contributors:||
Frédéric Jutier; Eric Simoni; Université de Paris-Sud. Faculté des Sciences d'Orsay (Essonne).
|Description:||1 vol., 271 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.|
|Responsibility:||Frédéric Jutier ; sous la direction de [Eric Simoni].|
Although plutonium (Pu) is most known for its nuclear properties, it is also a fascinating metal whose 5f electrons are at the threshold between itinerancy and localization. This unique behaviour in the periodic table makes Pu metal being at the crossover in electronic properties. The recent discovery of superconductivity in PuCoGa5 and PuRhGa5 is a new direct evidence of plutonium's electronic properties complexity. The high values of the critical temperature and the upper critical field seem to point to the existence of a third class of superconductor, transitional between uranium- and cerium-based heavy fermion systems, and the high-Tc copper oxides. If it were not for the toxicity hazards associated with plutonium compounds, and their high critical parameters together with a high critical current, would make these materials of promising potential for technological applications. The advantage of the PuCoGa5 and PuRhGa5 compounds is the alpha radioactivity of plutonium which constitutes a continuous in situ source of irradiation. The ageing of these compounds will have thus an impact on the critical parameters (Tc, Hc2, Jc). This work is based on the study by electrical resistivity and magnetisation of the evolution of the superconductivity parameters as a function of samples ageing, in order to determine the influence of "impurities" and defects on their superconducting behaviour and thus to bring eventual indications of an unconventional character.