Structural mechanisms underlying near-zero thermal expansion in β-eucryptite: A combined synchrotron X-ray and neutron Rietveld analysis

Hongwu Xu, Peter J. Heaney, Douglas M. Yates, Robert B. Von Dreele, Mark A. Bourke

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66 Scopus citations

Abstract

The structures of ordered and disordered β-eucryptite have been determined from Rietveld analysis of powder synchrotron x-ray and neutron diffraction data over a temperature range of 20 to 873 K. On heating, both materials show an expansion within the (001) plane and a contraction along the c axis. However, the anisotropic character of the thermal behavior of ordered β-eucryptite is much more pronounced than that of the disordered compound; the linear expansion coefficients of the ordered and disordered phases are αa = 7.26×10-6 K-1; αc = -16.35×10-6 K-1, and αa = 5.98×10-6 K-1; αc = -3.82×10-6 K-1, respectively. The thermal behavior of β-eucryptite can be attributed to three interdependent processes that all cause an increase in a but a decrease in c with increasing temperature: (i) Si/Al tetrahedral deformation, (ii) Li positional disordering, and (iii) tetrahedral tilting. Because disordered β-eucryptite does not exhibit tetrahedral tilting, the absolute values of its axial thermal coefficients are smaller than those for the ordered sample. At low temperatures, both ordered and disordered β-eucryptite exhibit a continuous expansion parallel to the c axis with decreasing temperature, whereas a remains approximately unchanged. Our difference Fourier synthesis reveals localization of Li ions below room temperature, and we suggest that repulsion between Li and Al/Si inhibits contraction along the a axes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3138-3151
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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