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Title: AB Initio Studies of the Ground State Structure and Properties of Boron Carbides and Ruthenium Carbides
Authors: G, Harikrishnan
Supervisors: K. M, Ajith
Keywords: Department of Physics;Evolutionary Algorithm;Density Functional Theory;Hardness
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal
Abstract: This work investigates the ground state structure and properties of Boron Carbides (B12C3 and B13C2 stoichiometries) and Ruthenium Carbides (RuC, Ru2C and Ru3C stoichiometries), each belonging to a class of hard materials. Exhaustive crystal structure search using evolutionary algorithm and density functional theory is performed in each of these stoichiometries. The lowest energy structures emerging from the structure search are further relaxed and their ground properties are computed using DFT. The work in B12C3 stoichiometry provides the first independent confirmation using structure search that B11Cp(CBC) is the ground state structure of this stoichiometry. It is established that mechanically and dynamically stable structures with base-centered monoclinic symmetry can be at thermodynamical equilibrium at temperatures up to 660 K in B12C3, raising the possibility of identifying the monoclinic symmetry in experimental measurements. A demonstration of experimentally identifiable signatures of monoclinic symmetry is provided through the computed cumulative infrared spectrum of some of the systems. The work in B13C2 stoichiometry has conclusively solved the long standing problem of the discrepancy between the DFT calculations and the experimental observations over the semiconducting nature of B13C2. The remarkable success of a newly identified 30-atomcell structure in explaining many of the experimental data on B12C3 and B13C2 provides the first definitive evidence that structures with larger unit cells, are associated with crystals of these stoichiometries even at the ground state. The work in Ruthenium Carbide stoichiometries has gathered into a coherent perspective the widely varying structures proposed from experimental reports of synthesis, computational modeling and crystal structure search and provided conclusive structural candidates to be pursued in experiments. The study of the pressure-induced variation of their stability and properties has set indicators and benchmarks for future experimental investigations. The estimation of hardness of all the systems has underlined their importance in many applications, with nearly superhard values for some of them.
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