Materials Science: increasing the pressure reveals crystalline structures

The atoms in germanium selenide can adopt more configurations than previously thought according to a study by researchers in China. A phase change, the rearrangement of atoms in a solid from one crystal structure to another, can radically alter a material’s properties. Such a change in phase can be induced by exposing matter to high pressure. Kuo Li from the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research in Beijing, Yue Chen from The University of Hong Kong, and their co-workers have combined multiple computational and experimental techniques to identify the phases of germanium selenide, a material useful for energy conversion. Recently a high-pressure phase called β-GeSe was discovered in addition to the common low-pressure α-GeSe phase. The researchers predict two further phases at intermediate pressure, each with its own distinctive electrical properties.

This research is published in NPG Asia Materials, and the full article is available in the following website:

Hulei Yu and Yue Chen, the first and last authors of the paper.