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Due to resource depletion of easily processed nonferrous and precious metals, the mining industry increasingly concentrates on refractory ores with high arsenic (As) content. Arsenic must be separated from the non-arsenic components to minimize negative environmental and health impacts associated with smelting processes. Nickel arsenide is an important impurity in these ores, and it can also form as a wurtzite-type structure in nanostructures. In addition, the isolated arsenic atoms in gallium arsenide (GaAs) have interesting electronic properties.
iron ii arsenide has a unique combination of properties enabling it to be used in a variety of applications. It has a high melting point and low thermal expansion, making it suitable for applications such as nuclear energy, high-temperature thermocouples and high-pressure sensors. It can also be used in semiconductors and photo-electronic devices.
A detailed analysis of the temperature-dependence of a starting diiron arsenide compound allowed us to resolve ambiguities in the system. The existence of a high-temperature FeAs phase with an NiAs-type structure has been experimentally confirmed, and the previously published phase diagram for the system is modified accordingly.
In situ PXRD at the powder diffraction station X04SA of the Materials Science Beamline at the Swiss Light Source of Paul Scherrer Institute was used to monitor changes in phase composition during the DRM heating process and identify different high-temperature polymorphs. Exceptionally good data quality was achieved, even at temperatures above 800 degC when the familiar phase of FeAs disappears and is replaced by a new phase displaying unidentified triplet peaks. These peaks are most likely caused by quasi-single crystal scattering artifacts in the samples, as no known iron and/or arsenic compound matches these new peak positions.