Pressure-Induced Amorphization and Negative Thermal Expansion in ZrW2O8

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 886-889
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.886

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It has recently been shown that zirconium tungstate (ZrW2O8) exhibits isotropic negative thermal expansion over its entire temperature range of stability. This rather unusual behavior makes this compound particularly suitable for testing model predictions of a connection between negative thermal expansion and pressure-induced amorphization. High-pressure x-ray diffraction and Raman scattering experiments showed that ZrW2O8 becomes progressively amorphous from 1.5 to 3.5 gigapascals. The amorphous phase was retained after pressure release, but the original crystalline phase returned after annealing at 923 kelvin. The results indicate a general trend between negative thermal expansion and pressure-induced amorphization in highly flexible framework structures.

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