, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 761-767
Date: 14 May 2010

Pressure-induced structural transition in Ln2Zr2O7 (Ln = Ce, Nd, Gd) pyrochlores

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The structural behavior under pressure of three lanthanide pyrochlore zirconates Ln2Zr2O7 (Ln3+ = Ce, Nd and Gd) has been investigated by X-ray diffraction up to 50 GPa. For all three compounds, a symmetry reduction from cubic to monoclinic is observed under increasing pressure dependant on a pressure value that increases with the ionic radius of the lanthanide ions, r Ln. The cubic and monoclinic phases coexist over a wide pressure range which increases with r Ln. The zero-pressure bulk modulus of the cubic phase, B 0, and its pressure derivative, B 0′, have been determined by fitting the experimental compressibility curves to the Birch–Murnaghan equation of state.