Electronic transport and thermal and optical properties of Ca1-xLaxB6

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We present a study of transport, thermal, and optical properties of stoichiometric CaB6 and La-doped CaB6. For stoichiometric CaB6 a strong increase of the resistivity with decreasing temperature and anomalies in the low-temperature behavior of the resistivity and the specific heat have been observed. The application of an external magnetic field at low temperatures is shown to lead to an anomalous magnetoresistance in the case of stoichiometric CaB6. The optical conductivity, exhibits a strong doping dependence. Rather unexpectedly, small changes in the chemical composition lead to significant changes in the electronic interband transitions in the visible-UV spectral range. The relevance of our results with respect to the recently suggested excitonic scenario for explaining the physical properties of alkaline-earth hexaborides is discussed.

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Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

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