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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2023
  2. The compression behavior of the hexagonal AlB2 phase of Hafnium Diboride (HfB2) was studied in a diamond anvil cell to a pressure of 208 GPa by axial X-ray diffraction employing platinum as an internal pressure standard. The deformation behavior of HfB2 was studied by radial X-ray diffraction technique to 50 GPa, which allows for measurement of maximum differential stress or compressive yield strength at high pressures. The hydrostatic compression curve deduced from radial X-ray diffraction measurements yielded an ambient-pressure volume V0 = 29.73 Å3/atom and a bulk modulus K0 = 282 GPa. Density functional theory calculations showed ambient-pressure volume V0more »= 29.84 Å3/atom and bulk modulus K0 = 262 GPa, which are in good agreement with the hydrostatic experimental values. The measured compressive yield strength approaches 3% of the shear modulus at a pressure of 50 GPa. The theoretical strain-stress calculation shows a maximum shear stress τmax~39 GPa along the (1−10) [110] direction of the hexagonal lattice of HfB2, which thereby can be an incompressible high strength material for extreme-environment applications.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. Abstract The compression behavior of osmium metal was investigated up to 280 GPa (volume compression V/Vo =0.725) under nonhydrostatic conditions at ambient temperature using angle dispersive axial x-ray diffraction (A-XRD) with a diamond anvil cell (DAC). In addition, shear strength of osmium was measured to 170 GPa using radial x-ray diffraction (R-XRD) technique in DAC. Both diffraction techniques in DAC employed platinum as an internal pressure standard. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were also performed, and the computed lattice parameters and volumes under compression are in good agreement with the experiments. DFT predicts a monotonous increase in axial ratio (c/a)more »with pressure and the structural anomalies of less than 1 % in (c/a) ratio below 150 GPa were not reproduced in theoretical calculations and hydrostatic measurements. The measured value of shear strength of osmium (τ) approaches a limiting value of 6 GPa above a pressure of 50 GPa in contrast to theoretical predictions of 24 GPa and is likely due to imperfections in polycrystalline samples. DFT calculations also enable the studies of shear and tensile deformations. The theoretical ideal shear stress is found along the (001)[1-10] shear direction with the maximal shear stress ~24 GPa at critical strain ~0.13.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 29, 2022
  4. Abstract

    We build random forests models to predict elastic properties and mechanical hardness of a compound, using only its chemical formula as input. The model training uses over 10,000 target compounds and 60 features based on stoichiometric attributes, elemental properties, orbital occupations, and ionic bonding levels. Using the models, we construct triangular graphs for B-C-N compounds to map out their bulk and shear moduli, as well as hardness values. The graphs indicate that a 1:1 B-N ratio can lead to various superhard compositions. We also validate the machine learning results by evolutionary structure prediction and density functional theory. Our studymore »shows that BC10N, B4C5N3, and B2C3N exhibit dynamically stable phases with hardness values >40 GPa, which are superhard materials that potentially could be synthesized by low-temperature plasma methods.

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  5. Boron-rich B-C compounds with high hardness have been recently synthesized by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. In this paper, we present our successful efforts in the selective growth of microstructures of boron-carbon compounds on silicon substrates. This was achieved by combining microfabrication techniques such as maskless lithography and sputter deposition with the CVD technique. Our characterization studies on these B-C microstructures showed that they maintain structural and mechanical properties similar to that of their thin-film counterparts. The methodology presented here paves the way for the development of microstructures for microelectromechanical system (MEMS) applications which require custom hardness and strengthmore »properties. These hard B-C microstructures are an excellent choice as support structures in MEMS-based devices.« less
  6. Thermoelastic behavior of transition metal boride Os2B3 was studied under quasi-hydrostatic and isothermal conditions in a Paris-Edinburgh cell to 5.4 GPa and 1273 K. In-situ Energy Dispersive X-ray diffraction was used to determine interplanar spacings of the hexagonal crystal structure and thus the volume and axial compression. P-V-T data were fitted to a 3rd Order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state with a temperature modification to determine thermal elastic constants. The bulk modulus was shown to be K0 = 402 ± 21 GPa when the first pressure derivative was held to K0’ = 4.0 from the room temperature P-V curve. Under amore »quadratic fit α=α_0+α_1 T-α_2 T^(-2), the thermal expansion coefficients were determined to be α_0=1.862×10^(-5) K-1, α_1=0.841×10^(-9) K-2, and α_2=-0.525 K. Density functional theory (DFT) with the quasi-harmonic approximation (QHA) were further employed to study Os2B3, including its P-V-T curves, phonon spectra, bulk modulus, specific heat, thermal expansion, and the Grüneisen parameter. A good agreement between the first-principle theory and experimental observations was achieved, highlighting the success of the Armiento-Mattsson 2005 generalized gradient approximation functional employed in this study and QHA for describing thermodynamic properties of Os2B3.« less
  7. High pressure study on ultra-hard transition-metal boride Os2B3 was carried out in a diamond anvil cell under isothermal and non-hydrostatic compression with platinum as an X-ray pressure standard. The ambient-pressure hexagonal phase of Os2B3 is found to be stable with a volume compression V/V0 = 0.670 ± 0.009 at the maximum pressure of 358 ± 7 GPa. Anisotropic compression behavior is observed in Os2B3 to the highest pressure, with the c-axis being the least compressible. The measured equation of state using the 3rd-order Birch-Murnaghan fit reveals a bulk modulus K0= 397 GPa and its first pressure derivative K0'= 4.0. Themore »experimental lattice parameters and bulk modulus at ambient conditions also agree well with our density-functional-theory (DFT) calculations within an error margin of ~1%. DFT results indicate that Os2B3 becomes more ductile under compression, with a strong anisotropy in the axial bulk modulus persisting to the highest pressure. DFT further enables the studies of charge distribution and electronic structure at high pressure. The pressure-enhanced electron density and repulsion along the Os and B bonds result in a high incompressibility along the crystal c-axis. Our work helps to elucidate the fundamental properties of Os2B3 under ultrahigh pressure for potential applications in extreme environments.« less