Indexed on: 01 Sep '07Published on: 01 Sep '07Published in: Physics of the Solid State
The paper reports on the results of ab initio calculations of the static and dynamic properties of the LaMnO3 crystal with a perovskite structure in the cubic, rhombohedral, and orthorhombic phases. The calculations are performed within the ionic crystal model, which takes into account the deformability and polarizability of the ions. It is revealed that the spectrum of lattice vibrations in the cubic phase contains unstable vibrational modes, which occupy the phase space in the entire Brillouin zone. The eigenvectors of the softest mode at the boundary point R of the Brillouin zone are associated with the displacements of the oxygen ions and correspond to the “rotation” of the MnO6 octahedron. The condensation of one, two, and three components of this mode leads to the tetragonal, orthorhombic, and rhombohedral distortions of the structure. The structural phase transition is described in terms of the local mode approximation with the use of the double perovskite unit cell, in which the MnO6 octahedron is explicitly separated. The parameters of the model Hamiltonian are determined. The static properties are investigated by the Monte Carlo method. The calculated temperature of the phase transition from the cubic phase (9800 K) is considerably higher than the melting temperature of the crystal under investigation. The calculated frequencies of long-wavelength lattice vibrations in the experimentally observed orthorhombic and rhombohedral phases are in reasonable agreement with experimental data.