Ternary Bismuthide SrPtBi2: Computation and Experiment in Synergism to Explore Solid-State Materials

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Gui, Xin
Zhao, Xin
Sobczak, Zuzanna
Wang, Cai-Zhuang
Klimczuk, Tomasz
Ho, Kai-Ming
Xie, Wei-wei
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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A combination of theoretical calculation and the experimental synthesis to explore the new ternary compound is demonstrated in the Sr–Pt–Bi system. Because Pt–Bi is considered as a new critical charge-transfer pair for superconductivity, it inspired us to investigate the Sr–Pt–Bi system. With a thorough calculation of all the known stable/metastable compounds in the Sr–Pt–Bi system and crystal structure predictions, the thermodynamic stability of hypothetical stoichiometry, SrPtBi2, is determined. Following the high-temperature synthesis and crystallographic analysis, the first ternary bismuthide in Sr–Pt–Bi, SrPtBi2 was prepared, and the stoichiometry was confirmed experimentally. SrPtBi2 crystallizes in the space group Pnma (S.G. 62, Pearson Symbol oP48), which matches well with theoretical prediction using an adaptive genetic algorithm. Using first-principles calculations, we demonstrate that the orthorhombic structure has lower formation energies than other 112 structure types, such as tetragonal BaMnBi2 (CuSmP2) and LaAuBi2(CuHfSi2) structure types. The bonding analysis indicates that the Pt–Bi interactions play a critical role in structural stability. The physical property measurements show the metallic properties at the low temperature, which agrees with the electronic structure assessment.

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