Phonon density of states and heat capacity of La3-x Te4

O. Delaire*, A. F. May, M. A. McGuire, W. D. Porter, M. S. Lucas, M. B. Stone, D. L. Abernathy, V. A. Ravi, S. A. Firdosy, G. J. Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


The phonon density of states (DOS) of La3-x Te4 compounds (x=0.0,0.18,0.32) was measured at 300, 520, and 780 K, using inelastic neutron scattering. A significant stiffening of the phonon DOS and a large broadening of features were observed upon introduction of vacancies on La sites (increasing x). Heat-capacity measurements were performed at temperatures 1.85≤T≤1200K and were analyzed to quantify the contributions of phonons and electrons. The Debye temperature and the electronic coefficient of heat capacity determined from these measurements are consistent with the neutron-scattering results, and with previously reported first-principles calculations. Our results indicate that La vacancies in La3-x Te4 strongly scatter phonons and this source of scattering appears to be independent of temperature. The stiffening of the phonon DOS induced by the introduction of vacancies is explained in terms of the electronic structure and the change in bonding character. The temperature dependence of the phonon DOS is captured satisfactorily by the quasiharmonic approximation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184302
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Nov 19 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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