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Te3O3(PO4)2: a phosphate crystal with large birefringence activated by the highly distorted [TeO5] group and antiparallel [PO4] pseudo-layer

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Abstract

Phosphate crystals typically display small birefringence, due to the very small polarizability anisotropy of the highly symmetric [PO4] tetrahedral unit. Here, we discovered a novel phosphate crystal, Te3O3(PO4)2, which exhibits an unexpectedly enhanced birefringence of 0.148 at 1064 nm, which hits a new high in inorganic phosphate materials. Theoretical calculations and structural analysis reveal that the large birefringence can be attributed to the combined effects of the highly distorted [TeO5] group and antiparallel [PO4] pseudo-layer. Notably, bulk Te3O3(PO4)2 single crystals can be grown by the Czochralski method, and a centimeter-size crystal has been successfully obtained. Moreover, the Te3O3(PO4)2 crystal exhibits a wide transmission range (0.29–4.76 μm) and a high laser damage threshold (544 MW cm−2). These excellent properties suggest that Te3O3(PO4)2 is a potential phosphate birefringent material. More importantly, this work confirmed that the distorted [TeO5] group and antiparallel [PO4] pseudo-layer are two excellent functional units for increasing birefringence, which provides a novel strategy for the further design of new phosphate compounds with large birefringence.

Graphical abstract: Te3O3(PO4)2: a phosphate crystal with large birefringence activated by the highly distorted [TeO5] group and antiparallel [PO4] pseudo-layer

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Article information


Submitted
13 May 2020
Accepted
10 Jun 2020
First published
10 Jun 2020

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Te3O3(PO4)2: a phosphate crystal with large birefringence activated by the highly distorted [TeO5] group and antiparallel [PO4] pseudo-layer

W. Dong, Y. Sun, Q. Yao, Q. Wang, H. Wen, J. Li, X. Xu and J. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0TC02311F

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