Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Bruce N. Harmon

Abstract

Modern ab initio calculations are becoming an essential, complementary tool to inelastic x-ray scattering studies, where x-rays are scattered inelastically to resolve meV phonons. Calculations of the inelastic structure factor for any value of Q assist in both planning the experiment and analyzing the results. Moreover, differences between the measured data and theoretical calculations help identify important new physics driving the properties of novel correlated systems. We have used such calculations to better and more efficiently measure the phonon dispersion and elastic constants of several iron pnictide superconductors. This dissertation describes calculations and measurements at room temperature in the tetragonal phase of CaFe2As2 and LaFeAsO. In both cases, spin-polarized calculations imposing the antiferromagnetic order present in the low-temperature orthorhombic phase dramatically improves the agreement between theory and experiment. This is discussed in terms of the strong antiferromagnetic correlations that are known to persist in the tetragonal phase. In addition, we discuss a relatively new approach called self-consistent ab initio lattice dynamics (SCAILD), which goes beyond the harmonic approximation to include phonon-phonon interactions and produce a temperature-dependent phonon dispersion. We used this technique to study the HCP to BCC transition in beryllium.

Copyright Owner

Steven Edward Hahn

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

95 pages

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