Alloy decomposition under pressure: Bi–Sb incommensurate phase as a case study

Moran Emuna, Shir Ben Shalom, Yaron Greenberg, Eyal Yahel, Aviva Melchior, Guy Makov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high-pressure phase behavior of the Bi–Sb system was investigated experimentally and modeled thermodynamically to study the effect of the transition to the incommensurate Bi-III type structure, which is adopted by the high-pressure phases Bi-III and Sb-II of the pure elements. The thermodynamic model of the Bi–Sb phase diagram including the effect of pressure in the isomorphous regime was extended to include solid–solid phase transitions of the pure elements. Consequently, the alloy phase diagram was found to transform to the eutectic form with pressure and is predicted here in the pressure range of 3–6 GPa. The alloy was found to transform from the ambient, rhombohedral A7 structure to the incommensurate phase. The transformation occurred at intermediate pressures between those observed in elemental Bi and Sb. The region of thermodynamic stability was determined by calculating the spinodal curves. To verify these predictions, the structure of a Sb-rich alloy was determined as a function of pressure by X-ray diffraction measurements in a diamond anvil cell, demonstrating the transition from A7 to the incommensurate Sb-II-like structure. It was found that the decomposition of the alloy under pressure is determined by the thermodynamic instability located at the spinodal curve. In contrast, alloy compositions located in the metastable region between the binodal phase line and the spinodal curve did not decompose under pressure, thus indicating a new region of phase space to be explored in high-pressure studies of alloys.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number159264
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • Binary alloys
  • Incommensurate phase
  • Phase diagram calculation
  • Phase transition

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Alloy decomposition under pressure: Bi–Sb incommensurate phase as a case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this