Skip to main content Accessibility help

Structural Investigation of δ-stabilized Plutonium Alloys Under Pressure

  • Philippe Faure (a1), Vincent Klosek (a2), Claudine Genestier (a3), Nathalie Baclet (a4), Steve Heathman (a5), Peter Normile (a6) and Richard Haire (a7)...


The mechanism responsible for the stability of the delta-phase in plutonium alloys remains poorly understood despite previous extensive studies. In the present experiments, three alloys (Pu-8at%Am, Pu-15at%Am and Pu-2at%Ga) were studied under pressure by X-ray diffraction in diamond anvil cells and revealed i) a pressure-induced softening in the compressibility of the delta-phase and ii) the presence of an intermediate γ’-phase across the δ → α’ phase transition. The softening, an anomalous behaviour, is shown to be coherent with other known unusual properties found for these alloys like NTE (Negative Thermal Expansion). Furthermore, it has been observed that the cell volume for the α’-phase formed under pressure depends on the rate of the pressure increase. This behaviour may be related to the diffusion of solute atoms to specific sites within the α’-phase unit cell. Such diffusion may also explain the α’-phase unit cell’s volume shrinkage versus time in a Pu-2at%Ga sample kept at a constant pressure.

These XRD results, obtained under pressure, may be used to test first-principle calculations or other general modelling which aim at predicting the solute’s diffusion and/or self-irradiation effects in plutonium alloys.



Hide All
[1] Söderlind, P., and Landa, A., Phys. Rev. B, 72, 24109 (2005).
[2] Tobin, J., Moore, K., Chung, B., Wall, M., Schwartz, A., van der Laan, G., Kutepov, A., Phys. Rev. B, 72, 85109 (2005).
[3] Shorikov, A., Lukoyanov, A., Korotin, M., Anisimov, V., Phys. Rev. B, 72, 24458 (2005).
[4] Pénicaud, M., J. Phys. Condens. Matter, 17, 257 (2005).
[5] Basset, W.A., Reichmann, H-J, Angel, R.J., Spetzler, H., and Smyth, J.R., American Mineralogist, 85, 283 (2000); V. Struzhkin, R. Hemley and H.-K. Mao, J. Phys. Condens. Matter, 16, 1071 (2004); High-temperature and high-pressure crystal chemistry – Reviews in mineralogy and geochemistry, ed. M. Hazen and R. Downs, 41 (2000).
[6] Lindbaum, A., Heathman, S., Le Bihan, T., Haire, R.G., Idiri, M. and Lander, G.H., J. Phys. Condens. Matter. 15, 2297 (2003).
[7] Heathman, S., Haire, R., Le Bihan, T., Lindbaum, A., Idiri, M., Normile, P., Li, S., Ahuja, R., Johansson, B., Lander, G., Science, 309, 110 (2005).
[8] Mao, H.K., Xu, J., and Bell, P.M., J. Geophys. Res., B91 (5), 4673 (1986).
[9] Le Toullec, R., Datchi, F., Loubeyre, P., Rambert, N., Sitaud, B. and Thévenin, T., High Pressure Science and Technology, ed. W. Trzeciakowski, Warsaw (World Scientific), 69 (1995).
[10] Hammersley, A., Svensson, S., Hänfland, M., Fitch, A., and Hausermann, D., High PressureResearch, 14, 235 (1996).
[11] Rodriguez-Carvajal, J., Physica B, 192, 55 (1993).
[12] Hecker, S., Harbur, D., Zocco, T., Prog. Mat. Sci., 49, 429 (2004).
[13] Roux, C., Le Roux, P., Rapin, L., J. Nucl. Mat., 40, 305 (1971).
[14] Zachariasen, W., and Ellinger, F., Acta. Cryst., 8, 431 (1955).
[15] Heathman., S., Haire, R., Le Bihan, T., Lindbaum, A., Liftin, K., Meresse, Y. and Libotte, H., Phys. Rev. Lett., 85, 2961 (2000).
[16] Deloffre, P., Ph.D. Thesis, Université Paris Sud (Orsay, France) (1997).
[17] Eriksson, O., Becker, J., Balatsky, A., Wills, J., J.Alloys and Compounds, 287, 1 (1999).
[18] Vinet, P., Ferrante, J., Rose, J., Smith, J., J. Geophys. Res. 92, 9319 (1987).
[19] Ledbetter, H., Moment, R., Acta Metall. 24, 891 (1976).
[20] Migliori, A., Freibert, F., Lashley, J., Lawson, A., Baiardo, J., Miller, D., Journal of Superconductivity, 15, 499 (2002).
[21] Wong, J., Krisch, M., Farber, D., Occelli, F., Schwartz, A., Chiang, T., Wall, M., Boro, C., Xu, R., Science, 301, 1078 (2003).
[22] Sikka, S., J. Phys. Condens. Matter. 16, 1033 (2004).
[23] Lawson, A.C., Roberts, J.A., Martinez, B., Richardson, J., Phil. Mag. B, 82, 1837 (2002).
[24] Schilfgaarde, M., Abrikosov, I. A. and Johansson, B., Nature, 400, 46 (1999).
[25] Cooper, B. R., Vogt, O., Sheng, Q. G. and Lin, Y. L., Philos. Mag. B, 79, 683 (1999).10.1080/13642819908205743
[26] Christensen, N., Boers, D., van Velsen, J., Novikov, D., Phys. Rev. B., 61, 3764 (2000).
[27] Faure, P., unpublished work.
[28] Sadigh, B., Wolfer, W.G., Phys. Rev. B, to be published.
[29] Zachariasen, W. H., and Ellinger, F., Acta. Cryst.,16, 777 (1963).
[30] Nelson, E., Blobaum, K., Wall, M., Allen, P., Schwartz, A., and Booth, C., Phys. Rev. B, 67,224206 (2003).
[31] Chebotarev, O., Utkina, O., Plutonium and Other Actinides, North-Holland Publishing Company, 599 (1976).
[32] Oudot, B., Ph. D. Thesis, Université de Besançon (Besançon, France) (2004).
[33] Espinosa, F.J., Villela, P., Lashley, J.C., Conradson, S.D., Cox, L.E., Martinez, R., Morales, L., Terry, J., and Pereyra, R., Phys. Rev. B, 63, 174111 (2001).
[34] Wolfer, W.G., Los Alamos Science 2000, 26, 274 (2000).



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed