Phase stability and pressure dependence of defect formation in Gd2Ti2O7 and Gd2Zr2O7 pyrochlores

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We report dramatically different behaviors between isostructural Gd2Ti2O7 and Gd2Zr2O7 pyrochlore at pressures up to 44 GPa, in which the substitution of Ti for Zr significantly increases structural stability. Upon release of pressure, the Gd2Ti2O7 becomes amorphous. In contrast, the high-pressure phase of Gd2Zr2O7 transforms to a disordered defect-fluorite structure. First-principle calculations for both compositions revealed that the response of pyrochlore to high pressure is controlled by the intrinsic energetics of defect formation. © 2008 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters

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