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We report the synthesis and structural and physical properties of CaFe 4As3 single crystals. Needle-like single crystals of CaFe4As3 were grown out of Sn flux and the compound adopted an orthorhombic structure as determined by x-ray diffraction measurements. Electrical, magnetic, and thermal properties indicate that the system undergoes two successive phase transitions, occurring at T N1∼90 K and TN2∼26 K. At TN1, electrical resistivities (ρb and ρac) are enhanced while magnetic susceptibilities (χb and χac) are reduced in both directions, parallel and perpendicular to the b axis, consistent with the scenario of antiferromagnetic spin-density-wave formation. At T N2, specific heat reveals a slope change, and χac decreases sharply but χb shows a clear jump before it decreases again with decreasing temperature. Remarkably, both ρb and ρac decrease sharply with thermal hysteresis, indicating the first-order nature of the phase transition at TN2. At low temperatures, ρb and ρac can be described by ρ=ρ0+ATα (ρ0, A, and α are constants). Interestingly, these constants vary with applied magnetic field. The ground state of CaFe4As3 is discussed. © 2011 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics