Nanocrystalline MgB2 produced by mechanical alloying has been shown to exhibit enhanced superconducting properties such as increased pinning and higher critical currents. However, the effects of the synthesis process on the intrinsic superconducting properties have not been addressed yet. We have investigated the superconducting gap structure of nanocrystalline MgB 2 pellets synthesized by high-energy ball milling employing specific heat measurements. We found that the larger σ-gap decreased whereas the smaller π-gap slightly increased in ball-milled MgB2 as compared to bulk samples synthesized along the standard routes. The data show that the ball-milling process introduces defects that enhance the interband scattering similar to irradiation with neutrons. The reduction of the σ-gap explains the lower superconducting transition temperature of 33 K.
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