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  1. Oxynitride perovskites of the type ABO 2 N have attracted considerable attention thanks to their potential ferroelectric behavior and tunable bandgap energy, making them ideal candidates for photocatalysis processes. Therefore, in order to shed light on the origin of their ferroelectric response, here we report a complete analysis of the structural and vibrational properties of SrNbO 2 N and SrTaO 2 N oxynitrides. By employing first-principles calculations, we analyzed the symmetry in-equivalent structures considering the experimentally reported parent I 4/ mcm space group (with a phase a 0 a 0 c − in Glazer's notation). Based on the I 4/more »mcm reference within the 20-atoms unit-cell, we found and studied the ensemble of structures where different octahedral anionic orderings are allowed by symmetry. Thus, by exploring the vibrational landscape of the cis - and trans -type configuration structures and supported by the ionic eigendisplacements and the Born effective charges, we explained the mechanism responsible for the appearance of stable ferroelectric phases in both anionic orderings. The latter goes from covalent-driven in the trans -type ordering to the geometrically-driven in the cis -type configuration. Finally, we found in both cases that the biaxial xy epitaxial strain considerably enhances such ferroelectric response.« less
  2. Geometrical and vibrational characterization of magnesium hydroxide was performed using density functional theory. Four possible crystal symmetries were explored: P 3̄ (No. 147, point group −3), C 2/ m (No. 12, point group 2), P 3 m 1 (No. 156, point group 3 m ) and P 3̄ m 1 (No. 164, point group −3 m ) which are the currently accepted geometries found in the literature. While a lot of work has been performed on Mg(OH) 2 , in particular for the P 3̄ m 1 phase, there is still a debate on the observed ground state crystal structuremore »and the anharmonic effects of the OH vibrations on the stabilization of the crystal structure. In particular, the stable positions of hydrogen are not yet defined precisely, which have implications in the crystal symmetry, the vibrational excitations, and the thermal stability. Previous work has assigned the P 3̄ m 1 polymorph as the low energy phase, but it has also proposed that hydrogens are disordered and they could move from their symmetric position in the P 3̄ m 1 structure towards P 3̄. In this paper, we examine the stability of the proposed phases by using different descriptors. We compare the XRD patterns with reported experimental results, and a fair agreement is found. While harmonic vibrational analysis shows that most phases have imaginary modes at 0 K, anharmonic vibrational analysis indicates that at room temperature only the C 2/ m phase is stabilized, whereas at higher temperatures, other phases become thermally competitive.« less