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Title: Density driven structural transformations in amorphous semiconductor clathrates

The pressure induced crystalline collapse at 14.7 GPa and polyamorphic structures of the semiconductor clathrate Sr8Ga16Ge30 are reported up to 35 GPa. In-situ total scattering measurements under pressure allow the direct microscopic inspection of the mechanisms associated with pressure induced amorphization in these systems, as well as the structure of the recovered phase. It is observed that, between 14.7 and 35 GPa the second peak in the structure factor function gradually disappears. Analysis of the radial distribution function extracted from those data indicate that this feature is associated with gradual cage collapse and breakdown of the tetrahedral structure with the consequent systematic lengthening of the nearest-neighbor framework bonds. This suggests an overall local coordination change to an even higher density amorphous form. Upon recovery from high pressure, the sample remains amorphous, and while there is some indication of the guest-host cage reforming, it doesn't seem that the tetrahedral coordination is recovered. As such, the compresion-decompression process in this systems gives rise to three distict amorphous forms.
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Grenoble (France)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; high pressure; amorphous; semiconductor; clathrate
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1226693