High pressure evolution of Fe$_{2}$O$_{3}$ electronic structure revealed by X-ray absorption

Physical Review B (Impact Factor: 3.74). 06/2010; 82(14). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.144428
Source: arXiv


We report the first high pressure measurement of the Fe K-edge in hematite (Fe$_2$O$_3$) by X-ray absorption spectroscopy in partial fluorescence yield geometry. The pressure-induced evolution of the electronic structure as Fe$_2$O$_3$ transforms from a high-spin insulator to a low-spin metal is reflected in the x-ray absorption pre-edge. The crystal field splitting energy was found to increase monotonically with pressure up to 48 GPa, above which a series of phase transitions occur. Atomic multiplet, cluster diagonalization, and density-functional calculations were performed to simulate the pre-edge absorption spectra, showing good qualitative agreement with the measurements. The mechanism for the pressure-induced phase transitions of Fe$_2$O$_3$ is discussed and it is shown that ligand hybridization significantly reduces the critical high-spin/low-spin gap pressure. Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures and 1 table

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