A room-temperature infrared spectroscopy study of elemental tellurium at pressures up to 8.44 GPa in the energy range 0.015-2 eV is reported. Optical signatures of the high-pressure polymorphs are investigated and compared to the results of density-functional band-structure calculations. A Drude peak is first seen in the optical conductivity around 3.5 GPa indicating a semiconductor-to-metal transition within trigonal Te-I. A sharp increase in the Drude spectral weight and dc conductivity around 4.3 GPa signals the transformation toward the triclinic Te-II polymorph. An absorption peak around 0.15 eV appears above 5 GPa concomitant with the gradual transformation of Te-II into the structurally similar but incommensurately modulated Te-III. Microscopically, this peak can only be reproduced within a sufficiently large commensurate approximant, suggesting the low-energy optical response as a fingerprint of the structural modulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics