Combined Theoretical and in Situ Scattering Strategies for Optimized Discovery and Recovery of High-Pressure Phases: A Case Study of the GaN-Nb2O5 System

William R. Woerner, Guang Rui Qian, Artem R. Oganov, Peter W. Stephens, H. A.Naveen Dharmagunawardhane, Alexandra Sinclair, John B. Parise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The application of pressure in solid-state synthesis provides a route for the creation of new and exciting materials. However, the onerous nature of high-pressure techniques limits their utility in materials discovery. The systematic search for novel oxynitrides - semiconductors for photocatalytic overall water splitting - is a representative case where quench high-pressure synthesis is useful and necessary in order to obtain target compounds. We utilize state of the art crystal structure prediction theory (USPEX) and in situ synchrotron-based X-ray scattering to speed up the discovery and optimization of novel compounds using high-pressure synthesis. Using this approach, two novel oxynitride phases were discovered in the GaN-Nb2O5 system. The (Nb2O5)0.84:(NbO2)0.32:(GaN)0.82 rutile structured phase was formed at 1 GPa and 900 °C and gradually transformed to a α-PbO2-related structure above 2.8 GPa and 1000 °C. The low-pressure rutile type phase was found to have a direct optical band gap of 0.84 eV and an indirect gap of 0.51 eV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3384-3392
Number of pages9
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Volume55
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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