The innovation engine for new materials

Ida Svenningsson

Ida Svenningsson


Chalmers University of Technology


Applied Physics


Sam Teicher

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Ram Seshadri

Faculty Sponsor's Department: 

Materials Research Laboratory

Project Title: 

Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of the Antiperovskite Carbides Mn3ZnC and Ni3GeC

Project Description: 

Antiperovskite carbides have a long history in metallurgical research, and members of the family exhibit unusual properties such as superconductivity and giant magnetoresistance. They are cubic structures with the formula X3ACδ, in which the X site hosts the element with the lowest electronegativity. Recent computational work suggests that both Mn3ZnC and Ni3GeC might be topological semimetals—3D analogs of graphene with interesting electronic properties. Conventional synthesis of antiperovskite carbides can be a complicated task: Mn3ZnC is conventionally produced through several heating and mixing cycles over multiple weeks and Ni3GeCδ has never been successfully produced with carbon filling, δ, close to 1. Microwave-assisted synthesis addresses both issues by reducing synthesis time and locally heating the carbon, which is a strong microwave susceptor, and also offers a pathway towards isolating metastable antiperovskite carbide family members due to the fast reaction time. In this work, we synthesize the antiperovskite carbides Mn3ZnC and Ni3GeC via microwave-assisted synthesis. Mixed precursors are vacuum sealed in fused silica tubes and then heated up in a conventional microwave for several minutes. X-ray diffraction is used to characterize the reaction product. Preliminary results suggest that microwave-assisted synthesis performance is comparable to conventional synthesis.