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  1. The thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline SnTe have been measured up to 4.5 GPa at 330 K. SnTe shows an enormous enhancement in Seebeck coefficient, greater than 200 % after 3 GPa, which correlates to a known pressure-induced structural phase transition that is observed through simultaneous in situ X-ray diffraction measurement. We also measured electrical resistance and relative changes to the thermal conductivity, enabling the determination of relative changes in the dimensionless figure of merit (ZT), which increases dramatically after 3 GPa, reaching 350 % of the lowest pressure ZT value. Our results demonstrate a fundamental relationship between structure and thermoelectricmore » behaviours and suggest that pressure is an effective tool to control them.« less
  2. In this research, pressure-induced phase transition from the fcc to a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure wasfound in NiCoCrFe solid solution alloy starting at 13.5 GPa. The phase transition is very sluggish and the transition did not complete at ~ 40 GPa. The hcp structure is quenchable to ambient pressure. Only a very small amount (<5%) of hcp phase was found in the isostructural NiCoCr ternary alloy up to the pressure of 45 GPa and no obvious hcp phase was found in NiCoCrFePd system till to 74 GPa. Ab initio Gibbs free energy calculations indicated the energy differences between the fccmore » and the hcp phases for the three alloys are very small, but they are sensitive to temperature. Finally, the critical transition pressure in NiCoCrFe varies from 1 GPa at room temperature to 6 GPa at 500 K.« less
  3. For this study, the effects of swift heavy ion irradiation-induced disordering on the behavior of lanthanide zirconate compounds (Ln 2Zr 2O 7 where Ln = Sm, Er, or Nd) at high pressures are investigated. After irradiation with 2.2 GeV 197Au ions, the initial ordered pyrochlore structure (Fmmore » $$\bar{3}$$m) transformed to a defect-fluorite structure (Fm$$\bar{3}$$m) in Sm 2Zr 2O 7 and Nd 2Zr 2O 7. For irradiated Er 2Zr 2O 7, which has a defect-fluorite structure, ion irradiation induces local disordering by introducing Frenkel defects despite retention of the initial structure. When subjected to high pressures (>29 GPa) in the absence of irradiation, all of these compounds transform to a cotunnite-like ( Pnma) phase, followed by sluggish amorphization with further compression. However, if these compounds are irradiated prior to compression, the high pressure cotunnite-like phase is not formed. Rather, they transform directly from their post-irradiation defect-fluorite structure to an amorphous structure upon compression (>25 GPa). Defects and disordering induced by swift heavy ion irradiation alter the transformation pathways by raising the energetic barriers for the transformation to the high pressure cotunnite-like phase, rendering it inaccessible. As a result, the high pressure stability field of the amorphous phase is expanded to lower pressures when irradiation is coupled with compression. The responses of materials in the lanthanide zirconate system to irradiation and compression, both individually and in tandem, are strongly influenced by the specific lanthanide composition, which governs the defect energetics at extreme conditions.« less
  4. Pressure-induced phase transitions of monoclinic H-Nb 2O 5 have been studied here by in situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction, pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, and Raman and optical transmission spectroscopy. The initial monoclinic phase is found to transform into an orthorhombic phase at ~9 GPa and then change to an amorphous form above 21.4 GPa. The PDF data reveal that the amorphization is associated with disruptions of the long-range order of the NbO 6 octahedra and the NbO 7 pentagonal bipyramids, whereas the local edge-shares of octahedra and the local linkages of pentagonal bipyramids are largely preserved in their nearest neighbors.more » Upon compression, the transmittance of the sample in a region from visible to near infrared (450–1000 nm) starts to increase above 8.0 GPa and displays a dramatic enhancement above 22.2 GPa, indicating that the amorphous form has a high transmittance. The pressure-induced amorphous form is found to be recoverable under pressure release, and maintain high optical transmittance property at ambient conditions. The recoverable pressure induced amorphous material promises for applications in multifunctional materials.« less
  5. The local structure of Ni$-$Pd solid solution alloys with compositions of Ni 80Pd 20 and Ni 50Pd 50 was investigated with anomalous X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption and theoretical calculation/simulation. The fcc lattice is distorted for both alloys, and the Pd$-$Pd atomic pair distance is +4.4% and +1.4% larger than ideal values in Ni 80Pd 20 and Ni 50Pd 50 alloys, respectively. The corresponding atomic pair distance of Ni$-$Ni is -1.8% and -3.0% less than the ideal values. Different short-range orders in the alloys were quantitatively identified at the atomic level. In Ni 80Pd 20, Pd atoms are likely to formmore » Pd$-$Pd pairs, while Pd atoms are connected with Pd atoms in the second shell in the equiatomic solid solution alloy. Upon ion irradiation, little change of interatomic distance, but modification of chemical short-range order was observed. The number of Pd$-$Pd pairs decreases to the lowest value at 0.1 dpa, and further irradiation make it increase.« less
  6. Here, the structural evolution of lanthanide A 2TiO 5 (A = Dy, Gd, Yb, and Er) at high pressure is investigated using synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The effects of A-site cation size and of the initial structure are systematically examined by varying the composition of the isostructural lanthanide titanates, and the structure of dysprosium titanate polymorphs (orthorhombic, hexagonal and cubic), respectively. All samples undergo irreversible high pressure phase transformations, but with different onset pressures depending on the initial structure. While individual phase exhibits different phase transformation histories, all samples commonly experience a sluggish transformation to a defect cotunnite-like ( Pnma) phasemore » for a certain pressure range. Orthorhombic Dy 2TiO 5 and Gd 2TiO 5 form P2 1am at pressures below 9 GPa and Pnma above 13 GPa. Pyrochlore-type Dy 2TiO 5 and Er 2TiO 5 as well as defect-fluorite-type Yb 2TiO 5 form Pnma at ~ 21 GPa, followed by Im3¯m. Hexagonal Dy 2TiO 5 forms Pnma directly, although a small amount of remnants of hexagonal Dy 2TiO 5 is observed even at the highest pressure (~ 55 GPa) reached, indicating a kinetic limitations in the hexagonal Dy 2TiO 5 phase transformations at high pressure. Decompression of these materials leads to different metastable phases. Most interestingly, a high pressure cubic X-type phase ( Im3¯m) is confirmed using highresolution transmission electron microscopy on recovered pyrochlore-type Er 2TiO 5. The kinetic constraints on this metastable phase yield a mixture of both the X-type phase and amorphous domains upon pressure release. This is the first observation of an X-type phase for an A 2BO 5 composition at high pressure.« less
  7. Zinc adsorption and interfacial hydration on yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) surfaces in contact with aqueous zinc solutions at room temperature and neutral pH have been probed, with combined specular high-resolution X-ray reflectivity and element-specific (Zn) resonant anomalous X-ray reflectivity techniques. The total and partial zinc-Specific electron density profiles in the surface normal direction show the detailed interfacial hydration structures with zinc adsorption: Strongly depending on its crystallographic orientations, the YSZ (110) surface adsorbs zinc species only within adsorbed water layers above the terminal plane, while on (111) surface, zinc further-penetrates the substrate (below the terminal plane). Considering that both surfaces aremore » enriched with oxygen vacancies and metal-depleted sites; on which chemisorbed water species are expected, the observed contrast indicates that specific zinc adsorption is controlled strongly by the intrinsic surface chemistry that results from orientation-dependent interfacial structures.« less
  8. A metastable liquid may exist under supercooling, sustaining the liquid below the melting point such as supercooled water and silicon. It may also exist as a transient state in solid–solid transitions, as demonstrated in recent studies of colloidal particles and glass-forming metallic systems. One important question is whether a crystalline solid may directly melt into a sustainable metastable liquid. By thermal heating, a crystalline solid will always melt into a liquid above the melting point. Here we report that a high-pressure crystalline phase of bismuth can melt into a metastable liquid below the melting line through a decompression process. Themore » decompression-induced metastable liquid can be maintained for hours in static conditions, and transform to crystalline phases when external perturbations, such as heating and cooling, are applied. It occurs in the pressure–temperature region similar to where the supercooled liquid Bi is observed. Finally, akin to supercooled liquid, the pressure-induced metastable liquid may be more ubiquitous than we thought.« less
  9. Water interaction with surfaces is very important and plays key roles in many natural and technological processes. Because the experimental challenges that arise when studying the interaction water with specific crystalline surfaces, most studies on metal oxides have focused on powder samples, which averaged the interaction over different crystalline surfaces. As a result, studies on the crystal orientation-dependent interaction of water with metal oxides are rarely available in the literature. In this work, water adsorption at 8 mol % yttria-stabilized cubic single crystal zirconia (100) and (111) surfaces was studied in terms of interfacial hydration structures using high resolution X-raymore » reflectivity measurements. The interfacial electron density profiles derived from the structure factor analysis of the measured data show the existence of multiple layers of adsorbed water with additional peculiar metal adsorption near the oxide surfaces.Surface relaxation, depletion, and interaction between the adsorbed layers and bulk water are found to vary greatly between the two surfaces and are also different when compared to the previously studied (110) surface. The fractional ratio between chemisorbed and physisorbed water species were also quantitatively estimated, which turned out to vary dramatically from surface to surface. Finally, the result gives us a unique opportunity to reconsider the simplified 2:1 relation between chemisorption and physisorption, originally proposed by Morimoto et al. based on the adsorption isotherms of water on powder metal oxide samples.« less

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