American Chemical Society
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Structure of the Orthorhombic γ-Phase and Phase Transitions of Ca(BD4)2

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-10-01, 00:00 authored by F. Buchter, Z. Łodziana, A. Remhof, O. Friedrichs, A. Borgschulte, Ph. Mauron, A. Züttel, D. Sheptyakov, L. Palatinus, K. Chłopek, M. Fichtner, G. Barkhordarian, R. Bormann, B. C. Hauback
We have solved and refined the crystal structure of the orthorhombic γ-phase of Ca(BD4)2 by combined synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction, neutron powder diffraction, and ab initio calculations. Among five structural candidates giving the same quality of the fit of the diffraction data, the structural model with the highest symmetry and space group Pbca is the most appropriate. This is supported by the implicit presence of the Pbca symmetry operations in the low-symmetry space groups in both experimental and DFT calculated structures. The Ca atoms are surrounded by six BD4 groups that have similar distortions as reported for the β-phase of Ca(BD4)2. On the basis of the experimental structures, free energies of the α-, β-, and γ-phases are calculated in the range 300 K < T < 620 K. The phase transitions are observed in the same temperature range by means of X-ray diffraction on Ca(BD4)2 + MgD2 and pure Ca(BD4)2 samples. According to the ab initio calculations, the α-phase is the ground state at 0 K. At room temperature, the calculated free energies of the α-phase, β-phase, and γ-phase were found to be within ∼0.13 eV/f.u., in agreement with the observed coexistence of these phases. Moreover, calculations provide insight into trends for relative stabilities of α-, β-, and γ-phases. That is, with increasing temperature, the β-phase becomes more stable, while the metastable γ-phase becomes more destabilized with respect to the α-phase.