Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Element germanium under pressure matches predictions of modern condensed matter theory

Date:
April 8, 2011
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Although its name may make many people think of flowers, the element germanium is part of a frequently studied group of elements, called IVa, which could have applications for next-generation computer architecture as well as implications for fundamental condensed matter physics. New research reveals details of the element's transitions under pressure. Their results show extraordinary agreement with the predictions of modern condensed matter theory.

Nanocrystalline germanium with hydrogen serving as pressure medium.
Credit: Image courtesy of Carnegie Institution

Although its name may make many people think of flowers, the element germanium is part of a frequently studied group of elements, called IVa, which could have applications for next-generation computer architecture as well as implications for fundamental condensed matter physics.

Related Articles


New research conducted by Xiao-Jia Chen, Viktor Struzhkin, and Ho-Kwang (Dave) Mao from Geophysical Laboratory at Carnegie Institution for Science, along with collaborators from China, reveals details of the element's transitions under pressure. Their results show extraordinary agreement with the predictions of modern condensed matter theory.

Germanium (atomic number 32) is used in fiber-optic systems, specialized camera and microscope lenses, circuitry, and solar cells. Under ambient conditions it is brittle and semiconducting. But under pressure, the element should exhibit superconductivity, meaning that there is no resistance to the flow of an electric current.

The team's research, published in Physical Review Letters, discovered that under pressure of 66 GPa (about 650,000 atmospheres), germanium undergoes a structural change from one type of solid material to another that is metallic -- meaning it conducts electricity. It then undergoes another structural change under pressure of 90 GPa (about 890,000 atmospheres). These findings matched theoretical predictions about the element's behavior under extreme pressure.

"A series of phase transitions was observed on compression of germanium that creates structures with increased density," Chen said. "We found extraordinary agreement between theory and experiment for the structures, energies, and compressional behavior. Though some of this behavior had been noted earlier, the agreement between the new highly accurate experimental results and theory really was quite remarkable."

The team's results show that superconductivity in this simple element is caused by phonons, or collective vibrations in the crystal structures that germanium assumes under pressure.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiao-Jia Chen, Chao Zhang, Yue Meng, Rui-Qin Zhang, Hai-Qing Lin, Viktor Struzhkin, Ho-kwang Mao. β-tin→Imma→sh Phase Transitions of Germanium. Physical Review Letters, 2011; 106 (13) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.135502

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Element germanium under pressure matches predictions of modern condensed matter theory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406142353.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2011, April 8). Element germanium under pressure matches predictions of modern condensed matter theory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406142353.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Element germanium under pressure matches predictions of modern condensed matter theory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406142353.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins