The semimetallic group-V elements display a wealth of correlated electron phenomena due to a small indirect band overlap that leads to relatively small, but equal, numbers of holes and electrons at the Fermi energy with high mobility. Their electronic bonding characteristics produce a unique crystal structure, the rhombohedral A7 structure, which accommodates lone pairs on each site. Here, we show via single-crystal and synchrotron x-ray diffraction that antimony arsenide (SbAs) is a compound and the A7 structure can display chemical ordering of Sb and As, which were previously thought to mix randomly. Formation of this compound arises due to differences in electronegativity that are common to IV-VI compounds of average group V such as GeTe, SnS, PbS, and PbTe, and also ordered intraperiod compounds such as CuAu and NiPt. High-temperature diffraction studies reveal an order-disorder transition around 550 K in SbAs, which is in stark contrast to IV-VI compounds GeTe and SnTe that become cubic at elevated temperatures but do not disorder. Transport and infrared reflectivity measurements, along with first-principles calculations, confirm that SbAs is a semimetal, albeit with a direct band separation larger than that of Sb or As. Because even subtle substitutions in the semimetals, notably Bi 1-xSbx, can open semiconducting energy gaps, a further investigation of the interplay between chemical ordering and electronic structure on the A7 lattice is warranted.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Mar 26 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics