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: Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

Related Stories

Myth of tolerant dogs and aggressive wolves refuted

3 hours ago

Dogs are regarded as more tolerant and less aggressive compared to their ancestors, the wolves. Researchers from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna question this image. They show in a ...

Recommended for you

Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

Apr 24, 2015

Physicists have shown how heat can be exploited for controlling magnetic properties of matter. The finding helps in the development of more efficient mass memories. The result was published yesterday in Physical Review Le ...

ICARUS neutrino experiment to move to Fermilab

Apr 23, 2015

A group of scientists led by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia will transport the world's largest liquid-argon neutrino detector across the Atlantic Ocean from CERN to its new home at the US Department of Energy's ...

National security on the move with high energy physics

Apr 23, 2015

Scientists are developing a portable technology that will safely and quickly detect nuclear material hidden within large objects such as shipping cargo containers or sealed waste drums. The researchers, led ...

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.