An unexpected cubic symmetry in group IV alloys prepared using pressure and temperature

George Serghiou, Hans Josef Reichmann, Nicholas Odling, Kristina Spektor, Anna Pakhomova, Wilson Crichton, Zuzana Konôpková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cubic diamond (Fd-3m) group IVA element Si has been the material driver of the electronics industry since its inception. We report synthesis of a new cubic (Im-3m) group IVA material, a GeSn solid solution, upon heating Ge and Sn at pressures from 13 to 28 GPa using double-sided diamond anvil laser-heating and large volume press methods. Both methods were coupled with in-situ angle dispersive X-ray diffraction characterization. The new material substantially enriches the seminal group IVA alloy materials landscape by introducing an eightfold coordinated cubic symmetry, which markedly expands on the conventional tetrahedrally coordinated cubic one. This cubic solid solution is formed, despite Ge never adopting the Im-3m symmetry, melting inhibiting subsequent Im-3m formation and reactant Ge and Sn having unlike crystal structures and atomic radii at all these pressures. This is hence achieved without adherence to conventional formation criteria and routes to synthesis. This advance creates fertile avenues for new materials development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9009-9014
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number16
Early online date2 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2021


  • materials synthesis
  • reactivity
  • alloys
  • solid solutions
  • pressure and temperatue
  • angle dispersive X-ray diffraction


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