Bulk and surface properties of high-quality single crystals of zirconium dodecaboride have been studied in the temperature range from 4.5 K up to the superconducting transition temperature, which is found to be nearly 6.06 K. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy data, together with dc and ac magnetization measurements, are consistent with the conventional s-wave pairing scenario, whereas they disagree in estimates of the electronphonon coupling strength. We explain the divergence, supposing a great difference between the surface and bulk superconducting characteristics of the compound. This assertion is supported by our findings of a non-linear magnetic response to an amplitude-modulated alternating magnetic field, testifying to the presence of surface superconductivity in the ZrB12 samples at dc fields exceeding the thermodynamic critical field.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Jun 2004|