Semiconducting Region of Ytterbium

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Science  03 May 1963:
Vol. 140, Issue 3566, pp. 481-483
DOI: 10.1126/science.140.3566.481


The resistivity of elemental ytterbium at room temperature rises, by a factor of 11, to a maximum at a pressure of 40 kilobars; a further increase in pressure causes a polymorphic transition; the new phase has a resistivity 80 percent of that of the metal at 1 atmosphere. In the temperature-pressure diagram, the phase boundary has a negative slope. The phase boundary, determined from -190° to 360°C, is a straight line that may be extrapolated nearly to the known α-β transition at 1 atmosphere. Between the transition pressure and 20 kbar, the lowest pressure at which the measurements were made, ytterbium behaved as a semiconductor. The temperature coefficient of resistance is negative; at constant pressure, the resistivity shows the exponential temperature dependence characteristic of a semiconductor. The parameter in the expontial would correspond to an energy gap 0.015 ev at 20 kbar, an increase with pressure to a maximum of 0.080 ev at 37 kbar, and then a decrease to 0.05 ev at 45 kbar.