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First-principles prediction of stabilities and instabilities of compounds and alloys in the ternary B-As-P system

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Alling,  Björn
Adaptive Structural Materials (Simulation), Computational Materials Design, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Thin Film Physics Division, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden;

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Citation

Ektarawong, A., Simak, S. I., & Alling, B. (2017). First-principles prediction of stabilities and instabilities of compounds and alloys in the ternary B-As-P system. Physical Review B, 96(2): 024202. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.024202.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-64D1-2
Abstract
We examine the thermodynamic stability of compounds and alloys in the ternary B-As-P system theoretically using first-principles calculations. We demonstrate that the icosahedral B12As2 is the only stable compound in the binary B-As system, while the zinc-blende BAs is thermodynamically unstable with respect to B12As2 and the pure arsenic phase at 0 K, and increasingly so at higher temperature, suggesting that BAs may merely exist as a metastable phase. On the contrary, in the binary B-P system, both zinc-blende BP and icosahedral B12P2 are predicted to be stable. As for the binary As-P system, As1-xPx disordered alloys are predicted at elevated temperature-for example, a disordered solid solution of up to similar to 75 at.% As in black phosphorus as well as a small solubility of similar to 1 at.% P in gray arsenic at T = 750 K, together with the presence of miscibility gaps. The calculated large solubility of As in black phosphorus explains the experimental syntheses of black-phosphorus-type As1-xPx alloys with tunable compositions, recently reported in the literature. We investigate the phase stabilities in the ternary B-As-P system and demonstrate a high tendency for a formation of alloys in the icosahedral B-12(As1-xPx)(2) structure by intermixing of As and P atoms at the diatomic chain sites. The phase diagram displays noticeable mutual solubility of the icosahedral subpnictides in each other even at room temperature as well as a closure of a pseudobinary miscibility gap around 900 K. As for pseudobinary BAs1-xPx alloys, only a tiny amount of BAs is predicted to be able to dissolve in BP to form the BAs1-xPx disordered alloys at elevated temperature. For example, less than 5% of BAs can dissolve in BP at T = 1000 K. The small solubility limit of BAs in BP is attributed to the thermodynamic instability of BAs with respect to B12As2 and As.