Abstract

Solid-state absorption and Raman phonon spectroscopic investigations of PrCl<sub>3</sub>, PrBr<sub>3</sub>, and NdBr<sub>3</sub> under high pressure have been carried out at room temperature. These studies showed that the UCl<sub>3</sub>-type hexagonal form of PrCl<sub>3</sub> and PrBr<sub>3</sub> converts with the application of pressure to the PuBr<sub>3</sub>-type orthorhombic crystal structure. The absorption and Raman spectra obtained from PrBr<sub>3</sub> and NdBr<sub>3</sub> at pressures above ~260 kbar exhibit differences from spectra obtained at lower pressures, where they exhibit the PuBr<sub>3</sub>-type orthorhombic structure. These spectral differences suggest that a phase transformation might have taken place to an as-yet-unidentified crystal structure.

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