skip to main content


Title: Complex oxides: Intricate disorder

In this study, complex oxides such as pyrochlores have a myriad of potential technological applications, including as fast ion conductors and radiation-tolerant nuclear waste forms. They are also of interest for their catalytic and spin ice properties. Many of these functional properties are enabled by the atomic structure of the cation sublattices. Pyrochlores (A2B2O7) contain two different cations (A and B), typically a 3+ rare earth and a 4+ transition metal such as Hf, Zr, or Ti. The large variety of chemistries that can form pyrochlores leads to a rich space in which to search for exotic new materials. Furthermore, how cations order or disorder on their respective sublattices for a given chemical composition influences the functional properties of the oxide. For example, oxygen ionic conductivity is directly correlated with the level of cation disorder — the swapping of A and B cations 1. Further, the resistance of these materials against amorphization has also been connected with the ability of the cations to disorder 2, 3. These correlations between cation structure and functionality have spurred great interest in the structure of the cation sublattice under irradiation, with significant focus on the disordering mechanisms and disordered structure. Previous studies have foundmore » that, upon irradiation, pyrochlores often undergo an order-to-disorder transformation, in which the resulting structure is, from a diffraction point of view, indistinguishable from fluorite (AO2) (ref. 3). Shamblin et al. now reveal that the structure of disordered pyrochlore is more complicated than previously thought 4.« less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: