Barreda-Argüeso, J. A. , López-Moreno, S., Sanz-Ortiz, M. N., Aguado, F., Valiente, R., González, J., Rodríguez, F., Romero, A. H., Muñoz, A., Nataf,L., & Baudelet, F. (2013). Pressure-induced phase-transition sequence in CoF2: An experimental and first-principles study on the crystal, vibrational, and electronic properties. Physical Review B, 88, 214108 (1-15).
We report a complete structural study of CoF2 under pressure. Its crystal structure and vibrational and electronic properties have been studied both theoretically and experimentally using first-principles density functional theory (DFT) methods, x-ray diffraction, x-ray absorption at Co K-edge experiments, Raman spectroscopy, and optical absorption in the 0?80 GPa range. We have determined the structural phase-transition sequence in CoF2 and corresponding transition pressures. The results are similar to other transition-metal difluorides such as FeF2 but different to ZnF2 and MgF2, despite that the Co2+ size (ionic radius) is similar to Zn2+ and Mg2+. We found that the complete phase-transition sequence is tetragonal rutile (P42/mnm) ? CaCl2 type (orthorhombic Pnnm) ? distorted PdF2 (orthorhombic Pbca)+PdF2 (cubic Pa3) in coexistence ? fluorite (cubic Fm3m) ? cotunnite (orthorhombic Pnma). It was observed that the structural phase transition to the fluorite at 15 GPa involves a drastic change of coordination from sixfold octahedral to eightfold cubic with important modifications in the vibrational and electronic properties. We show that the stabilization of this high-pressure cubic phase is possible under nonhydrostatic conditions since ideal hydrostaticity would stabilize the distorted-fluorite structure (tetragonal I4/mmm) instead. Although the first rutile ? CaCl2-type second-order phase transition is subtle by Raman spectroscopy, it was possible to define it through the broadening of the Eg Raman mode which is split in the CaCl2-type phase. First-principles DFT calculations are in fair agreement with the experimental Raman mode frequencies, thus providing an accurate description for all vibrational modes and elastic properties of CoF2 as a function of pressure.