Volume 85, Number 2, January 2009
Article Number 26004
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 30 January 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 26004
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/26004

Pressure-induced phase separation in the Y123 superconductor

M. Calamiotou1, A. Gantis1, D. Lampakis2, E. Siranidi2, E. Liarokapis2, I. Margiolaki3 and K. Conder4

1   Solid State Physics Department, School of Physics, University of Athens - GR-15784 Athens, Greece, EU
2   Department of Physics, National Technical University - GR-15780 Athens, Greece, EU
3   ESRF - BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France, EU
4   Laboratory for Solid State Physics, ETH Zurich - 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

received 5 December 2008; accepted in final form 23 December 2008; published January 2009
published online 30 January 2009

We study the hydrostatic pressure dependence of the Y123 lattice by synchrotron angle-dispersive powder diffraction up to 12.7 GPa in order to detect any lattice instabilities or phase separation observed by Raman measurements. In the pressure range (3.7 GPa < p < 10 GPa) mainly the c-axis (and to a smaller extend the a-, b-axis) undergoes a clear deviation from the expected equation of state. Upon the pressure release the data follow the anticipated dependence showing a strong hysteresis. At the pressure of ~3.7 GPa new peaks appear in the diffraction patterns, which can be attributed to another apparently coherent phase that exhibits enhanced disorder and texture effects. The intensity of the new peaks decreases with increasing pressure and upon pressure release they disappear for p < 3.9 GPa. The in-plane Cu-Opl bonds, the Cu2-Cu1 distance and the fractional coordinate of Ba atom along the c-axis of the Y123 phase show modifications at characteristic pressures in complete agreement with the Raman measurements under pressure, strongly indicating a pressure-induced lattice instability and phase separation.

64.75.Nx - Phase separation and segregation in solid solutions.
62.50.-p - High-pressure effects in solids and liquids.
61.05.cp - X-ray diffraction.

© EPLA 2009