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Solid state physics 4

exercises session 3

7th March 2012.

Exercise 1 Phonons in copper1
Elementary copper crystalizes in an fcc lattice with a = 3.615 ˚ A, ρ = 8920 kg/m2 . 1. How many phonon branches would you expect and why? 2. Observe the experimental phonon spectrum (measured by inelastic neutron scattering) in Fig 1. Identify the phonons. Why one sees just one transversal phonon branch in the (qh ,0,0) direction? 3. Estimate both the longitudinal and transversal speed of sound cL and cT . 4. Give a rough estimate for the Debye temperature of copper based on the phonon spectrum. 5. Calculate the Debye temperature given the following information: We express the phonon density of states for the cube (unit cell) with a side a by: 1 1 3 ω 2 . The total number of normal modes is 3N . Thus, we + c2 Z (ω ) = 2π 2a 3 c3

can say that 3N = 0 D Z (ω )dω . Use the correct values for the longitudinal and transversal speeds of sounds are cL = 4670 m/s and cT = 2320 m/s, respectively. 6. Fig 2. shows the density of states calculated from the experimental phonon spectrum. The density of states in the Debye approximation is essentially proportional to ω 2 with a cutoff at ωD . What is the difference from the copper density of and why does it arise (hint: look at the Fig 1. and compare)? 7. One can estimate the Debye–Waller factor by the following expression in a cubic 2 Z (ω ) ω lattice 2W = 6q MN ω coth 2kB T dω . Since the Debye–Waller factor is related to the mean displacement, plot the mean displacement amplitude function of temperature. 8. Where would you expect the melting temperature of copper and why? 9. Why do soft materials have a larger Debye–Waller factor than hard materials with comparable atomic masses? u2 /a as a


Exercise 2 Phonons in germanium
Elementary germanium crystalizes in a diamond lattice (with two atoms per primitive unit cell). 1. How many phonon branches would you expect and why?
See also A. Zheludev’s course on neutron scattering at ETH:

Figure 1: The inelastic neutron spectrum of phonons in copper. 2. Fig 3. shows the spectrum of germanium measured by inelastic neutron scattering. Observe the branches. 3. Would you expect the Debye model to hold for this case? Suggest improvements to account for the heat capacity contribution coming from the optical modes.


Figure 2: The density of states in copper based on the data from Fig. 1.

Figure 3: Phonon spectrum of germanium.