The homogeneity range of R1-xNi2 Laves phases (R=Ce, Gd, Tb) has been studied by X-ray diffraction, microprobe analysis and density measurements. In these compounds, the number of R vacancies varies as a function of the atomic number of the rare earth metal and the nominal composition. For R=Tb the number of vacancies varies by 0≤x≤0.5, with a change of the structure from a pure C15 structure to a 2a superstructure accompanied by a cell volume decrease. The order-disorder transition of the rare-earth vacancies has been studied under applied pressure for La7Ni16 and as a function of temperature for all the R1-xNi2 compounds. The evolution of the transition pressure and temperature, which reflects the binding energy of the vacancies in the lattice, depends not only on the radius of the R atoms but also on their masses.
- A. Laves phases
- D. Defects: constitutional vacancies
- F. Calorimetry
- F. Diffraction
- F. Metallographic techniques