Quantum mechanics predicts unusual lattice dynamics of vanadium metal under high pressure

Oct 11, 2007

A Swedish research team of Dr. Wei Luo & Professor Rajeev Ahuja and US team of Dr. Y. Ding & Prof. H.K. Mao have used theoretical calculations to understand a totally new type of high-pressure structural phase transition in vanadium. This phase was not found in earlier experiments for any element and compound. The findings are being published in this week’s Net edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The relation between electronic structure and the crystallographic atomic arrangement is one of the fundamental questions in physics, geophysics and chemistry. Since the discovery of the atomic nature of matter and its periodic structure, this has remained as one of the main questions regarding the very foundation of solid systems.

Scientists at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory, USA and Uppsala University, Sweden have discovered a new type of phase transition - a change from one form to another-in vanadium, a metal that is commonly added to steel to make it harder and more durable.

Under extremely high pressures, pure vanadium crystals change their shape but do not take up less space as a result, unlike most other elements that undergo phase transitions. This work appeared in the February 23, 2007 issue of Physical Review Letters.

"Trying to understand why high-pressure vanadium uniquely has the record-high superconducting temperature of all known elements inspired us to study high-pressure structure of vanadium," said Dr. Wei Luo. "In present paper we have looked into the lattice dynamics of vanadium metal and it shows a very unusual behavior under pressure. A huge change in the electronic structure is driving force behind this unusual lattice dynamics. Moreover, our findings provide a new explanation for the continuous rising of superconducting temperature in high-pressure vanadium, and could lead us to the next breakthrough in superconducting materials."

Source: Uppsala University

Explore further: Mist-collecting plants may bioinspire technology to help alleviate global water shortages

Related Stories

How did the chicken cross the sea?

24 minutes ago

It may sound like the makings of a joke, but answering the question of how chickens crossed the sea may soon provide more than just a punch line.

Recommended for you

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields

18 hours ago

There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers ...

New idea for Dyson sphere proposed

19 hours ago

(Phys.org)—A pair of Turkish space scientists with Bogazici University has proposed that researchers looking for the existence of Dyson spheres might be looking at the wrong objects. İbrahim Semiz and ...

Turning back time by controlling magnetic interactions

19 hours ago

In many materials, macroscopic magnetic properties emerge when microscopically small magnets align in a fixed pattern throughout the whole solid. In a publication in Nature Communications, Johan Mentink, Karste ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.