On crystallographically disordered La-based compound
The influence of structural disorder on superconductivity is not yet fully understood. A concurrent examination of crystallographic and physical properties of LaHg6.4 reveals that this material enters a superconducting state below Tc = 2.4 K while showing crystallographic disorder in one dimension. Lanthanum mercuride, which crystallizes in a new structure type (space group Cmcm, a = 9.779(2) Å, b = 28.891(4) Å, c = 5.0012(8) Å, Z = 8), has remained out of reach for nearly 50 years. In this crystal structure, strong disorder is present in the channels that propagate along the  direction. By implementing a combination of cutting-edge synthesis and characterization techniques, we were able to circumvent the complexity associated with the low formation temperature and chemical reactivity of this substance and study the superconductivity of LaHg6.4 in detail.