Prediction of pressure-induced phase transformations in Mg3As2†
Pressure is a fundamental tool that can induce structural and electronic transformations, which is helpful to search for exotic materials not accessible at ambient conditions. Here, we have performed an extensive structural study on cubic Mg3As2 in a pressure range of 0–100 GPa by using a combination of structure predictions and first-principle calculations. Interestingly, two novel structures with space groups C2/m and P were uncovered that become energetically most stable at pressures of 12 GPa and 30 GPa, respectively. Phonon dispersions demonstrate that the three phases are dynamically stable in their respective low-enthalpy pressure ranges. The electronic calculations show that Mg3As2 keeps semiconductor properties at pressures up to 100 GPa. The interesting thing is that the direct semi-conducting property of Mg3As2 transforms into indirect semi-conducting when the pressure is above 12 GPa. The current results provide new insights for understanding the behavior of Mg3As2 at high pressures.