Pressure-induced structural change in liquid GeI4

J Phys Condens Matter. 2018 Jan 31;30(4):045401. doi: 10.1088/1361-648X/aaa180. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


The similarity in the shape of the melting curve of GeI4 to that of SnI4 suggests that a liquid-liquid transition as observed in liquid SnI4 is also expected to occur in liquid GeI4. Because the slope of the melting curve of GeI4 abruptly changes at around 3 GPa, in situ synchrotron diffraction measurements were conducted to examine closely the structural changes upon compression at around 3 GPa. The reduced radial distribution functions of the high- and low-pressure liquid states of GeI4 share the same feature inherent in the high-pressure (high-density) and low-pressure (low-density) radial distribution functions of liquid SnI4. This feature allows us to introduce local order parameters that we may use to observe the transition. Unlike the transition in liquid SnI4, the transition from the low-pressure to the high-pressure structure seems sluggish. We speculate that the liquid-liquid critical point of GeI4 is no longer a thermodynamically stable state and is slightly located below the melting curve. As a result, the structural change is said to be a crossover rather than a transition. The behavior of the local-order parameters implies a metastable extension of the liquid-liquid phase boundary with a negative slope.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't