With a counterintuitive approach to crystal growth, single crystals of -TmAlB 4 were successfully grown, which were indicated from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements and analysis to be virtually free from the ubiquitous building defects, and their properties investigated. Recent developments in rare earth aluminoboride compounds with two-dimensional boron layers have attracted interest due to the heavy fermion superconductivity in β-YbAlB 4, multiple anomalies manifesting below the Nel temperatures in α-TmAlB 4 attributed to intrinsic building defects, and field stable state in Tm 2AlB 6. The physical properties of the obtained -TmAlB 4 crystals show a striking difference from the properties of conventional α-TmAlB 4 crystals containing building defects. T N 6.8 K is revealed to be higher than the 5.8 K formerly thought, and the multiple anomalies below T N are replaced by a sharp λ-like peak in the specific heat C. The large effect of the building defects on the physical properties could be directly confirmed, and strikingly it is shown how the large peak structure in the specific heat of the high quality sample could be destroyed by the presence of a small amount (one or two percent) of building defects.
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