Editors' ChoiceMaterials Chemistry

Forcing iron to bond to bismuth

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Science  09 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6317, pp. 1246-1247
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6317.1246-g

Iron-bismuth compounds are of interest for extending the series of superconducting iron-pnictide materials, but the Fe-Bi bond has been elusive. One problem is the immiscibility of Bi in Fe. Walsh et al. report that the formation of FeBi2 can be observed under extreme pressure conditions created with diamond anvils. Previous work was unsuccessful with the lower-pressure (body-centered cubic) phase of iron, so pressures sufficient to create its face-centered cubic phase were needed. At pressures above 30 GPa and temperatures of ∼1500°C, a phase was observed in x-ray diffraction in which each iron atom coordinated to eight Bi atoms, along with stabilizing Bi-Bi interactions. Once formed, the material was stable down to 2.9 GPa.

ACS Central Sci. 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00287 (2016).

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