Anomalous temperature behavior of Sn impurities

D. Haskel, H. Shechter, E. A. Stern, M. Newville, Y. Yacoby

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Sn impurities in Pb and Ag hosts have been investigated by Mössbauer effect and in Pb by x-ray-absorption fine-structure (XAFS) studies. The Sn atoms are dissolved up to at least 2 at. % in Pb and up to at least 8 at. % in Ag for the temperature ranges investigated. The concentration limit for Sn-Sn interactions is 1 at. % for Pb and 2 at. % for Ag as determined experimentally by lowering the Sn concentration until no appreciable change occurs in the Mössbauer effect. XAFS measurements verify that the Sn impurities in Pb are dissolved and predominantly at substitutional sites. For both hosts the temperature dependence of the spectral intensities of isolated Sn impurities below a temperature T0 is as expected for vibrating about a lattice site. Above T0 the Mössbauer spectral intensity exhibits a greatly increased rate of drop-off with temperature without appreciable broadening. This drop-off is too steep to be explained by ordinary anharmonic effects and can be explained by a liquidlike rapid hopping of the Sn, localized about a lattice site. Higher-entropy-density regions of radii somewhat more than an atomic spacing surround such impurities, and can act as nucleation sites for three-dimensional melting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14032-14043
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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