Controlled formation of metastable germanium polymorphs

Bianca Haberl*, Malcolm Guthrie, Brad D. Malone, Jesse S. Smith, Stanislav V. Sinogeikin, Marvin L. Cohen, James S. Williams, Guoyin Shen, Jodie E. Bradby

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    The nucleation of metastable germanium polymorphs on decompression is studied using in situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction. We show that the transition pathway is critically dependent on the hydrostaticity. Quasihydrostatic conditions result in the nucleation of the rhombohedral r8 phase, followed by the cubic bc8 and hexagonal diamond phases. In contrast, the presence of shear yields the tetragonal st12 phase. Thus, targeted nucleation of a metastable polymorph is now possible. This observation has implications for the technological exploitation of Ge, but also for other tetrahedral systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number144111
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014


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