Energy Relevant Materials: Investigations Based on First Principles
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Energy production, storage and efficient usage are all crucial factors for environmentally sound and sustainable future technologies. One important question concerns the refrigeration industry, where the energy efficiency of the presently used technologies is at best 40% of the theoretical Carnot limit. Magnetic refrigerators offer a modern low-energy demand and environmentally friendly alternative. Iron phosphide based materials have been proposed to be amongst the most promising candidates for working body of magnetic refrigerators. Hydrogen is one of the central elements on the most promising sources of renewable energy. Considerable international research focuses on finding good solid state materials for hydrogen storage. On the other hand, hydrogen gas is obtained from hydrogen containing chemical compounds, which after breaking the chemical bounds usually yield to a mixture of different gases. Palladium-silver alloys are frequently used for hydrogen separation membranes for producing purified hydrogen gas. All these applications need a fundamental understanding of the structural, magnetic, chemical and thermophysical properties of the involved solid state materials. In the present thesis ab initio electronic structure methods are used to study the crystallographic and magnetic properties of Fe2P based magneto-caloric compounds and the thermophysical properties of Pd-Ag binary alloys. Lattice stability of pure Fe2P and the effect of Si doping on the phase stability are presented. In contrast to the observation, for the ferromagnetic state the body centered orthorhombic structure (bco, space group Imm2) is predicted to have lower energy than the hexagonal structure (hex, space group P62m). The zero-point spin fluctuation energy difference is found to be large enough to stabilize the hex phase. For the paramagnetic state, the hex structure is shown to be the stable phase and the computed total energy versus composition indicates a hex to bco crystallographic phase transition with increasing Si content. The magneto-structural effects and the mechanisms responsible for the structural phase transition are discussed in details. The magnetic properties of Fe2P can be subtly tailored by Mn doping. It has been shown experimentally that Mn atoms preferentially occupy one of the two different Fe sites of Fe2P. Theoretical results for the Mn site occupancy in MnFeP1-xSix are presented. The single crystal and polycrystalline elastic constants and the Debye temperature of Pd1-xAgx binary alloys are calculated for the whole range of concentration, 0≤x≤1. It is shown that the variation of the elastic parameters of Pd-Ag alloys with chemical composition strongly deviates from the simple expected trend. The complex electronic origin of these anomalies is demonstrated. Within the present thesis, all relaxed crystal structures are obtained using the Projector AugmentedWave full-potential method. The chemical and magnetic disorder is treated using the Exact Muffin-Tin Orbitals method in combination with the Coherent Potential Approximation. The paramagnetic phase is modeled by the Disordered Local Magnetic Moments approach.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
US-AB , 2010. , 83 p.
magneto-caloric, DFT, elastic constants
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25050ISBN: 978-91-7415-752-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-25050DiVA: diva2:358351
2010-11-04, N111, KTH, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Richter, Manuel, Professor
Vitos, Levente, Professor
QC 201011012010-11-012010-10-062010-11-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers