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Local vibrations and negative thermal expansion in ZrW2O8

Local vibrations and negative thermal expansion in ZrW2O8

Physical Review Letters 112(4): 045505

We present an x-ray pair distribution function (XPDF) analysis and extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) data for ZrW2O8 (10-500 K) with a focus on the stiffness of the Zr-O-W linkage. The XPDF is highly sensitive to W-Zr and W-W correlations, but much less so to O-O or W-O correlations. The Zr-W peak in the XPDF data has a weak temperature dependence and, hence, this linkage is relatively stiff and does not permit bending of the Zr-O-W link. We propose that the low energy vibrational modes that lead to negative thermal expansion involve correlated rotations of ZrO6 octahedra that produce large <111> translations of the WO4 tetrahedra, rather than a transverse motion of O atoms that imply a flexible Zr-O-W linkage.

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Accession: 054153054

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PMID: 24580469

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.045505

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