journal article

Tipping the balance between the bcc and fcc phase within the alkali and coinage metal groups


Why the Group 1 elements crystallize in the body-centered cubic (bcc) structure, and the iso-electronic Group 11 elements in the face-centered cubic (fcc) structure, remains a mystery. Here we show that a delicate interplay between many-body effects, vibrational contributions and dispersion interactions obtained from relativistic density functional theory offers an answer to this long-standing controversy. It also sheds light on the Periodic Table of Crystal Structures. A smooth diffusionless transition through cuboidal lattices gives a detailed insight into the bcc→fcc phase transition for the Groups 1 and 11 elements.
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