Anharmonic contribution to the stabilization of Mg(OH)2 from first principles
Garcia Castro, Andrés Camilo
López Moreno, Sinhué
Bautista Hernández, Alejandro
Romero Castro, Aldo Humberto
"Geometrical and vibrational characterization of magnesium hydroxide was performed using density functional theory. Four possible crystal symmetries were explored: P[3 with combining macron] (No. 147, point group −3), C2/m (No. 12, point group 2), P3m1 (No. 156, point group 3m) and P[3 with combining macron]m1 (No. 164, point group −3m) 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[3 with combining macron]m1 phase, there is still a debate on the observed ground state crystal structure 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[3 with combining macron]m1 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[3 with combining macron]m1 structure towards P[3 with combining macron]. 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 C2/m phase is stabilized, whereas at higher temperatures, other phases become thermally competitive. "