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Identification of Phase Transitions and Metastability in Dynamically Compressed Antimony using Ultra-Fast X-Ray Diraction

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Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019

Abstract

Ultrafast x-ray diffraction at the LCLS x-ray free electron laser has been used to resolve the structural behavior of antimony under shock compression to 59 GPa. Antimony is seen to transform to the incommensurate, host-guest phase Sb-II at ∼11  GPa, which forms on nanosecond timescales with ordered guest-atom chains. The high-pressure bcc phase Sb-III is observed above ∼15  GPa, some 8 GPa lower than in static compression studies, and mixed Sb-III/liquid diffraction are obtained between 38 and 59 GPa. An additional phase which does not exist under static compression, Sb−I′, is also observed between 8 and 12 GPa, beyond the normal stability field of Sb-I, and resembles Sb-I with a resolved Peierls distortion. The incommensurate Sb-II high-pressure phase can be recovered metastably on release to ambient pressure, where it is stable for more than 10 ns.

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