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[en] A high pressure angle dispersive synchrotron x-ray diffraction study of titanium disulfide (TiS2) was carried out to pressures of 45.5 GPa in a diamond-anvil cell. We observed a phase transformation of TiS2 beginning at about 20.7 GPa. The structure of the high pressure phase needs further identification. By fitting the pressure-volume data to the third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state, the bulk modulus, K0T, was determined to be 45.9 ± 0.7 GPa with its pressure derivative, K'0T, being 9.5 ± 0.3 at pressures lower than 17.8 GPa. It was found that the compression behavior of TiS2 is anisotropic along the different axes. The compression ratio of the c-axis is about nine times larger than the a-axis when pressures are lower than 1 GPa. It suddenly decreases to three times larger at pressures of about 3 GPa. This ratio shows a linear decrease with a slope of negative 0.048 at pressures below phase transformation.
[en] X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a powerful tool for surface and interface analysis, providing the elemental composition of surfaces and the local chemical environment of adsorbed species. Conventional XPS experiments have been limited to ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions due to a short mean free path of electrons in a gas phase. The recent advances in instrumentation coupled with third-generation synchrotron radiation sources enables in-situ XPS measurements at pressures above 5 Torr. In this review, we describe the basic design of the ambient pressure XPS setup that combines differential pumping with an electrostatic focusing. We present examples of the application of in-situ XPS to studies of water adsorption on the surface of metals and oxides including Cu(110), Cu(111), TiO2(110) under environmental conditions of water vapor pressure. On all these surfaces we observe a general trend where hydroxyl groups form first, followed by molecular water adsorption. The importance of surface OH groups and their hydrogen bonding to water molecules in water adsorption on surfaces is discussed in detail
[en] Photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron-radiation-based x-ray absorption, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, and density-functional calculations within the mixed-level and magnetic models, together with canonical band theory have been used to study the electron configuration in Pu. These methods suggest a 5fn configuration for Pu of 5 (le) n < 6, with n ≠ 6, contrary to what has recently been suggested in several publications. We show that the n = 6 picture is inconsistent with the usual interpretation of photoemission and x-ray absorption spectra. Instead, these spectra support the traditional conjecture of a 5f5 configuration in Pu as is obtained by density-functional theory. We further argue, based on 5f-band filling, that an n = 6 hypothesis is incompatible with the position of Pu in the actinide series and its monoclinic ground-state phase
[en] Iron-based superconductors are well known for their complex interplay between structure, magnetism and superconductivity. FeSe offers a particularly fascinating example. This material has been intensely discussed because of its extended nematic phase, whose relationship with magnetism is not obvious. Superconductivity in FeSe is highly tunable, with the superconducting transition temperature, T c, ranging from 8 K in bulk single crystals at ambient pressure to almost 40 K under pressure or in intercalated systems, and to even higher temperatures in thin films. In this topical review, we present an overview of nematicity, magnetism and superconductivity, and discuss the interplay of these phases in FeSe. We focus on bulk FeSe and the effects of physical pressure and chemical substitutions as tuning parameters. In conclusion, the experimental results are discussed in the context of the well-studied iron-pnictide superconductors and interpretations from theoretical approaches are presented.
[en] The principle of using contrast variation spin-echo small angle neutron scattering (SESANS) technique for colloidal structural investigation is discussed. Based on the calculations of several model systems, we find that the contrast variation SESANS technique is not sensitive in detecting the structural characteristics of colloidal suspensions consisting of particles with uniform scattering length density profiles. However, its capability of resolving the structural heterogeneity, at both intra- and inter-colloidal length scales, is clearly demonstrated. The prospect of using this new technique to investigate the structural information that is difficult to be probed by other ways is also explored.
[en] Here, the electronic structures of ferromagnetic heavy fermion Yb compounds of YbPdSi, YbPdGe, and YbPtGe are studied by photoelectron spectroscopy around the Yb 4d–4f resonance, resonant x-ray emission spectroscopy at the Yb L 3 absorption edge, and density functional theory combined with dynamical mean field theory calculations. These compounds all have a temperature-independent intermediate Yb valence with large and small components. The magnitude of the Yb valence is evaluated to be YbPtGe YbPdGe YbPdSi, suggesting that YbPtGe is the closest to the quantum critical point among the three Yb compounds. Our results support the scenario of the coexistence of heavy fermion behavior and ferromagnetic ordering which is described by a magnetically-ordered Kondo lattice where the magnitude of the Kondo effect and the RKKY interaction are comparable.
[en] Here, magnetization measurements for magnetic fields μ0H up to 60 T are reported for the noncentrosymmetric spin–chain metal Yb2Fe12P7. These measurements reveal behavior that is consistent with Ising-like spin chain magnetism that produces pronounced spin degeneracy. In particular, we find that although a Brillouin field dependence is observed in M(H) for H⊥ c with a saturation moment that is close to the expected value for free ions of Yb3+, non-Brillouin-like behavior is seen for H ∥ c with an initial saturation moment that is nearly half the free ion value. In addition, hysteretic behavior that extends above the ordering temperature TM is seen for H ∥ c but not for H ⊥ c , suggesting out-of-equilibrium physics. This point of view is strengthened by the observation of a spin reconfiguration in the ordered state for H ∥ c which is only seen for T⩽TM and after polarizing the spins. Together with the heat capacity data, these results suggest that the anomalous low temperature phenomena that were previously reported are driven by spin degeneracy that is related to the Ising-like one dimensional chain-like configuration of the Yb ions.
[en] The search of new topological phases of matter is one of the new directions in condensed matter physics. Recent experimental realizations of Dirac semimetal phases pave the way to look for other exotic phases of matter in real materials. In this paper, we present a systematic angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) study of NdSb, a potential candidate for hosting a Dirac semi-metal phase. Our studies reveal two hole-like Fermi surface pockets present at the zone center () point as well as two elliptical electron-pockets present in the zone corner (X) point of the Brillouin zone (BZ). Interestingly, Dirac-like linearly dispersive states are observed about the zone corner (X) point in NdSb. Our first-principles calculations agree with the experimentally observed bands at the point. Moreover, the Dirac-like state observed in NdSb may be a novel correlated state, not yet predicted in calculations. Finally, our study opens a new direction to look for Dirac semi-metal states in other members of the rare earth monopnictide family.
[en] Here, we have measured the thermal conductivity of amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon films with varying crystalline content from 85K to room temperature. The films were prepared by the hot-wire chemical-vapor deposition, where the crystalline volume fraction is determined by the hydrogen (H2) dilution ratio to the processing silane gas (SiH4), R=H2/SiH4. We varied R from 1 to 10, where the films transform from amorphous for R < 3 to mostly nanocrystalline for larger R. Structural analyses show that the nanograins, averaging from 2 to 9nm in sizes with increasing R, are dispersed in the amorphous matrix. The crystalline volume fraction increases from 0 to 65% as R increases from 1 to 10. The thermal conductivities of the two amorphous silicon films are similar and consistent with the most previous reports with thicknesses no larger than a few um deposited by a variety of techniques. The thermal conductivities of the three nanocrystalline silicon films are also similar, but are about 50-70% higher than those of their amorphous counterparts. The heat conduction in nanocrystalline silicon films can be understood as the combined contribution in both amorphous and nanocrystalline phases, where increased conduction through improved nanocrystalline percolation path outweighs increased interface scattering between silicon nanocrystals and the amorphous matrix.