High-Pressure Polymorph of Thulium: An X-ray Diffraction Study

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Science  20 Apr 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4083, pp. 298-299
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4083.298


An x-ray diffractiotn study of thulium at room temperature and high pressure by means of a diamond-anvil press has shown that thulium transforms from a hexagonal close-packed structure to the samarium type, as other rareearth elements (gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, and holmium) do. Unlike the other rare-earth elements, thulium (hexagonal close-packed) has an axial ratio (c/a) that is independent of pressure within experimental error and the transition is reversible. The transition occurs with increasing pressure in the range of 60 to 116 kilobars. The lattice paralieters of the samarium-type phase of thulium at about 116 kilobars are a = 3.327 ± 0.005 angstroms and c = 23.48 ± 0.04 angstroms, and the volume change at the transition is estimated to be - 0.5 percent of the volume of the hexagonal close-packed phase at the transition.