Royal Society Publishing

On the Praseodymium+Oxygen System

B. G. Hyde, D. J. M. Bevan, L. Eyring


An isobaric survey of the system praseodymium oxide+oxygen has been made at oxygen pressures between 0 and 1 atm and in the temperature range 200 to 1150 degrees C. The derived isobaric sections enable a three-dimensional phase diagram (pressure, temperature, composition) to be constructed with considerable certainty and detail for the composition range PrO$_{1.65}$ to PrO$_{1.84}$. Reasonable extensions to cover the complete range between the sesquioxide and dioxide are proposed, and a projection of the diagram on to the temperature-composition plane is presented. At lower temperatures several discrete, ordered phases of narrow homogeneity range exist. These constitute an homologous series Pr$_{n}$O$_{2n-2}$, with n = 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, $\infty $. At higher temperatures two wide-range solid solutions obtain: $\sigma $, a body-centred cubic phase with a maximum composition range ca. PrO$_{1.60}$ to PrO$_{1.70}$; and $\alpha $, a face-centred cubic phase of composition ca. PrO$_{1.72}$ to PrO$_{2}$. The fields of stability of the various phases are defined and the ambient conditions at many invariant axes (peritectoid and eutectoid) enumerated. Miscibility gaps with upper consolute points are exceptional; order-disorder peritectoid transformations are common. Hysteresis in phase transformations is confirmed, and the results further demonstrate the existence of metastable states in phase reactions involving an increase in structural order. The appearance of these pseudo-phases and the nature of non-stoichiometry is explained in terms of a plausible model invoking microdomain texture in defect solids. This model is believed to be appropriate for other non-stoichiometric systems also. Earlier experimental data on the system are examined, and found to be consistent with the present results.

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