The γ-region of the Mn–Al phase diagram between 45 and 70 at.% Al was re-investigated by a combination of powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction as well as EDS analysis to establish the distribution of Mn and Al atoms. Single crystals of γ-Mn5–x Al8+x were grown using Sn-flux at 650 °C. The crystal structure, atomic coordinates and site occupancy parameters of γ-Mn5−x Al8+x phases were refined from single crystal X-ray data. The γ-Mn5-x Al8+x phase adopts the rhombohedral Cr5Al8-type structure rather than a cubic γ-brass structure. The refined compositions from two crystals extracted from the Al-rich and Mn-rich sides are, respectively, Mn4.76Al8.24(2) (I) and Mn6.32Al6.68(2) (II). The structure was refined in the acentric R3m space group (No.160, Z=6), in order to compare with other reported rhombohedral γ-brasses. In addition, according to X-ray powder diffraction analysis, at the Al-rich side the γ-phase coexists with LT–Mn4Al11 and, at the Mn-rich side, with a hitherto unknown phase. The refined lattice parameters from powder patterns fall in the range a=12.6814(7)−12.6012(5) Å and c=7.9444(2)−7.9311(2) Å from Al-rich to Mn-rich loadings, and the corresponding rhombohedral angles distorted from a pseudo-cubic cell were found to be 89.1(1)°−88.9(1)°. Magnetic susceptibility and magnetization studies of Mn4.92Al8.08(2) are consistent with moment bearing Mn and suggest a spin glass state below 27 K. Tight-binding electronic structure calculations (LMTO-ASA with LSDA) showed that the calculated Fermi level for γ-“Mn5Al8” falls within a pseudogap of the density of states, a result which is in accordance with a Hume-Rothery stabilization mechanism γ-brass type phases.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gordon-miller/128/