Description: We use angle-resolved synchrotron x-ray diffraction, laser sample heating, and diamond-anvil cells to follow in-situ chemical reactions directly between elemental boron and nitrogen. The structures of the solid reaction products vary with pressure. Below 10 GPa, hexagonal BN is the product; cubic or wurzite BN form at higher pressures. Under nitrogen-rich conditions, another hexagonal allotrope occurs which seems to be a new highly transparent, low density h`-BN. No direct reactions occur at ambient temperature even at pressures as high as 50 GPa, implying that a large activation barrier limits the kinetics of these exothermic processes. Laser heating overcomes the large kinetic activation barrier and initiates spontaneous, self-sustaining exothermic reactions even at moderate pressures.
Date: November 1, 1996
Creator: Nicol, M.; Yoo, C.S.; Akella, J. & Cynn, H.
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