Atomic Ordering in Cubic Bismuth Telluride Alloy Phases at High Pressure

I. Loa, J.-W. G. Bos, R. A. Downie, K. Syassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pressure-induced transitions from ordered intermetallic phases to substitutional alloys to semi-ordered phases were studied in a series of bismuth tellurides. Using angle-dispersive x-ray diffraction, the compounds Bi4Te5, BiTe, and Bi2Te were observed to form alloys with the disordered body-centered cubic (bcc) crystal structure upon compression to above 14--19 GPa at room temperature. The BiTe and Bi2Te alloys and the previously discovered high-pressure alloys of Bi2Te3 and Bi4Te3 were all found to show atomic ordering after gentle annealing at very moderate temperatures of ~100{\deg}C. Upon annealing, BiTe transforms from the bcc to the B2 (CsCl) crystal structure type, and the other phases adopt semi-disordered variants thereof, featuring substitutional disorder on one of the two crystallographic sites. The transition pressures and atomic volumes of the alloy phases show systematic variations across the Bi_mTe_n series including the end members Bi and Te. First-principles calculations were performed to characterize the electronic structure and chemical bonding properties of B2-type BiTe and to identify the driving forces of the ordering transition. The calculated Fermi surface of B2-type BiTe has an intricate structure and is predicted to undergo three topological changes between 20 and 60 GPa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number224109
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016


  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci

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