Phonon dispersion curves determination in (delta)-phase Pu-Ga alloys [report]

J Wong, D Clatterbuck, F Occelli, D Farber, A Schwartz, M Wall, C Boro, M Krisch, A Beraud, T Chiang, R Xu, H Hong (+2 others)
2006 unpublished
We have designed and successfully employed a novel microbeam on large grain sample concept to conduct high resolution inelastic x-ray scattering (HRIXS) experiments to map the full phonon dispersion curves of an fcc δ-phase Pu-Ga alloy. This approach obviates experimental difficulties with conventional inelastic neutron scattering due to the high absorption cross section of the common 239 Pu isotope and the non-availability of large (mm size) single crystal materials for Pu and its alloys. A
more » ... nd its alloys. A classical Born von-Kármán force constant model was used to model the experimental results, and no less than 4 th nearest neighbor interactions had to be included to account for the observation. Several unusual features including, a large elastic anisotropy, a small shear elastic modulus, (C 11 -C 12 )/2, a Kohn-like anomaly in the T 1 [011] branch, and a pronounced softening of the T[111] branch towards the L point in the Brillouin are found. These features may be related to the phase transitions of plutonium and to strong coupling between the crystal structure and the 5f valence instabilities. Our results represent the first full phonon dispersions ever obtained for any Pu-bearing material, thus ending a 40-year quest for this fundamental data. The phonon data also provide a critical test for theoretical treatments of highly correlated 5f electron systems as exemplified by recent dynamical mean field theory (DMFT) calculations for δ-plutonium. We also conducted thermal diffuse scattering experiments to study the T(111) dispersion at low temperatures with an attempt to gain insight into bending of the T(111) branch in relationship to the δ → α' transformation. . 4
doi:10.2172/928180 fatcat:lmrdbyp7ifejlfrzrv6sqxvkeu