The elements Gd (99.999%; Ames Laboratory), Ta (99.999%; Ames Laboratory), and Al (99.98%; Alfa) were combined in the atomic ratio Gd6Ta4Al100 in a 2 ml alumina crucible. The crucible was placed into a fused silica tube and a second crucible, filled with SiO2 wool, was placed inverted on top of the first. The tube was sealed under 1/5 atm Ar and placed into a box furnace. The mixture was heated to 1463 K in 3 h, kept at 1463 K for 2 h, and then cooled to 1173 K over 64 h. The reaction vessel was removed from the furnace at 1173 K, and the excess liquid was immediately decanted to isolate hexagonal prisms of the title compound.
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