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Phonon softening and lattice melting at the ferroelastic phase transition in Na<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub>

American Physical Society
Publication Date
  • Nye Funktionelle Materialer
  • Musicology
  • Physics


We present the results of a detailed inelastic neutron scattering study of the dynamics of the ferroelastic phase transition in Na2Co3. The driving instability is a transverse acoustic mode that softens over a plane of wave vectors, resulting in a continuous loss of long-range order, in accord with theoretical predictions, At T-c a wide distribution of excitations is observed in the plane of critical wave vectors, similar to the dynamics of a liquid. Perpendicular to this plane the system possesses one-dimensional order.

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