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Title: Electron Density Determination, Bonding and Properties of Tetragonal Ferromagnetic Intermetallics

The project developed quantitative convergent-beam electron diffraction (QCBED) methods by energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) and used them in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations to study the electron density distribution in metallic and intermetallic phases with different cubic and non-cubic crystal structures that comprise elements with d-electron shells. The experimental methods developed here focus on the bonding charge distribution as one of the quantum mechanical characteristics central for understanding of intrinsic properties and validation of DFT calculations. Multiple structure and temperature factors have been measured simultaneously from nano-scale volumes of high-quality crystal with sufficient accuracy and precision for comparison with electron density distribution calculations by DFT. The often anisotropic temperature factors for the different atoms and atom sites in chemically ordered phases can differ significantly from those known for relevant pure element crystals due to bonding effects. Thus they have been measured from the same crystal volumes from which the structure factors have been determined. The ferromagnetic ordered intermetallic phases FePd and FePt are selected as model systems for 3d-4d and 3d-5d electron interactions, while the intermetallic phases NiAl and TiAl are used to probe 3d-3p electron interactions. Additionally, pure transition metal elements with d-electrons have been studied.more » FCC metals exhibit well defined delocalized bonding charge in tetrahedral sites, while less directional, more distributed bonding charge attains in BCC metals. Agreement between DFT calculated and QCBED results degrades as d-electron levels fill in the elements, and for intermetallics as d-d interactions become prominent over p-d interactions. Utilizing the LDA+U approach enabled inclusion of onsite Coulomb-repulsion effects in DFT calculations, which can afford improved agreements with QCBED results. This implies that onsite Coulomb repulsion effects become non-negligible as the d-orbitals fill. The use of now easily measured low-order structure factors as an additional experimental metric in validation of DFT calculation of electronic structures of crystals offers potential to capture better both total energy related properties and details of the interatomic bonding in system with d-electron orbital contributions. This effort advanced the state of the art in quantitative TEM experimentation, provides original experimental data uniquely suited for new validation approaches of DFT calculations of d-electron affected transition metals and intermetallics.« less
  1. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE Electron Density Determination; Quantitative Convergent-Beam Electron Diffraction; Bonding in Crystals; Structure Factor Measurement; Debye-Waller Factor Measurement; Intermetallics and Transition Metals; Density Functional Theory Calculation