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Stability of vacancy-free crystalline phases of titanium monoxide at high pressure and temperature

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There has existed for a long time a paradigm that TiO phases at ambient conditions are stable only if structural vacancies are available. Using an evolutionary algorithm, we perform an ab initio search of possible zero-temperature polymorphs of TiO in wide pressure interval. We obtain the Gibbs energy of the competing phases taking into account entropy via quasiharmonic approximation and build the pressure–temperature diagram of the system. We reveal that two vacancy-free hexagonal phases are the most stable at relatively low temperatures in a wide range of pressures. The transition between these phases takes place at 28 GPa. Only above 1290 K at ambient pressure the phases with vacancies (B1-derived) become stable. In particular, the high-pressure hexagonal phase is shown to have unusual electronic properties, with a pronounced pseudo-gap in the electronic spectrum. The comparison of DFT–GGA and GW calculations demonstrates that the account for many-body corrections significantly changes the electronic spectrum near the Fermi energy.

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Correspondence to N. M. Chtchelkatchev.

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Chtchelkatchev, N.M., Ryltsev, R.E., Magnitskaya, M.V. et al. Stability of vacancy-free crystalline phases of titanium monoxide at high pressure and temperature. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 229, 179–185 (2020).

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