Phase relations, structural studies and physical properties of mixed metal oxides and sulphides
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The phase relations in three oxide systems; ZnO–BiVO4, Pb2V2O7–BiVO4 and PbO– BiVO4, have been studied and their phase diagrams over the whole component concentration range up to 1273 K have been established. As a result of solid-state reaction between ZnO and BiVO4 mixed at a molar ratio of 2:1 or among ZnO, V2O5 and Bi2O3, mixed at a molar ratio of 4:1:1, a new double vanadate BiZn2VO6 has been obtained. Its crystallographic system was determined, its unit cell parameters were calculated and its incongruent melting temperature was established. A new compound is also formed in the Pb2V2O7–BiVO4 system. It has been shown that BiVO4 and Pb2V2O7 react with each other forming a compound of the formula Pb2BiV3O11, when their molar ratio is equal to 1:1, or between PbO, Bi2O3 and V2O5, mixed at a molar ratio of 4:1:3. This material melts congruently and it crystallises in the triclinic system. A new series of non-stoichiometric sulphides Ga1-xGexV4S8 (0 x 1) has been synthesised by standard solid-state reaction. The samples have been characterised by powder X-ray and neutron diffraction, SQUID magnetometry and electrical transportproperty measurements. Structural analysis reveals that a solid solution is formed throughout this composition range. Magnetic measurements suggest that the ferromagnetic behaviour of the end-member phase GaV4S8 is retained at x 0.7. By contrast Ga0.25Ge0.75V4S8 appears to undergo antiferromagnetic ordering at ca. 15 K. All materials with x ¹ 1 are n-type semiconductors whose resistivity falls by almost six orders of magnitude with decreasing gallium content, whilst the end-member phase GeV4S8 is a ptype semiconductor. Powder neutron diffraction studies show that the cubic unit cell is retained for non-stoichiometric materials to the lowest temperatures studied. Single crystals of five erbium-chromium sulphides have been grown by chemical vapour transport using iodine as the transporting agent. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction reveals that in Er3CrS6, octahedral sites are occupied exclusively by Cr3+ cations, leading to onedimensional CrS4 5- chains of edge-sharing octahedra, whilst in Er2CrS4, Er3+ and Cr2+ cations occupy the available octahedral sites in an ordered manner. By contrast, in Er6Cr2S11, Er4CrS7 and Er8Cr3S15, Er3+ and Cr2+ ions are disordered over the octahedral sites. In Er2CrS4, Er6Cr2S11, Er4CrS7 and Er8Cr3S15, the network of octahedra generates an anionic framework constructed from M2S5 slabs of varying thickness, linked by onedimensional octahedral chains. This suggests that these four phases belong to a series in which the anionic framework may be described by the general formula [M2n+1S4n+3]x-, with charge balancing provided by Er3+ cations located in sites of high-coordination number within one-dimensional channels defined by the framework. Er4CrS7, Er6Cr2S11, Er8Cr3S15 ii and Er2CrS4 may thus be considered as the n = 1, 2, 3 and members of this series. Whilst Er4CrS7 is paramagnetic, successive magnetic transitions associated with ordering of the chromium and erbium sub-lattices are observed on cooling Er3CrS6 (TC(Cr) = 30 K; TC(Er) = 11 K) and Er2CrS4 (TN(Cr) = 42 K, TN(Er) = 10 K) whereas Er6Cr2S11 exhibits ordering of the chromium sub-lattice only (TN = 11.4 K). These four materials have been studied using neutron diffraction which allowed magnetic ordering to be examined.