Phase transformations and indications for acoustic mode softening in Tb-Gd orthophosphate

O. Tschauner, S. V. Ushakov, A. Navrotsky, L. A. Boatner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


At ambient conditions the anhydrous rare earth orthophosphates assume either the xenotime (zircon) or the monazite structure, with the latter favored for the heavier rare earths and by increasing pressure. Tb0.5Gd0.5PO4 assumes the xenotime structure at ambient conditions but is at the border between the xenotime and monazite structures. Here we show that, at high pressure, Tb0.5Gd0.5PO4 does not transform directly to monazite but through an intermediate anhydrite-type structure. Axial deformation of the unit cell near the anhydrite- to monazite-type transition indicates softening of the (c1133 + c1313) combined elastic moduli. Stress response of rare-earth orthophosphate ceramics can be affected by both formation of the anhydrite-type phase and the elastic softening in the vicinity of the monazite-phase. We report the first structural data for an anhydrite-type rare earth orthophosphate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035403
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 6 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • anhydrite structure
  • high pressure
  • phase transitions
  • rare earth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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