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Keywords:

  • AMPLIMODES;
  • computer programs;
  • Bilbao Crystallographic Server;
  • distorted structures;
  • symmetry-mode analysis

AMPLIMODES is a computer program available on the Bilbao Crystallographic Server that can perform a symmetry-mode analysis of any distorted structure of displacive type. The analysis consists in decomposing the symmetry-breaking distortion present in the distorted structure into contributions from different symmetry-adapted modes. Given the high- and the low-symmetry structures, AMPLIMODES determines the atomic displacements that relate them, defines a basis of symmetry-adapted modes, and calculates the amplitudes and polarization vectors of the distortion modes of different symmetry frozen in the structure. The program uses a mode parameterization that is as close as possible to the crystallographic conventions, expressing all quantities for the asymmetric unit of the low-symmetry structure. Distorted structures are often related to their higher-symmetry counterparts by temperature- and/or pressure-driven phase transitions, ferroic phase transitions being a particular example. The automatic symmetry-mode analysis performed by AMPLIMODES can be very useful for establishing the driving mechanisms of such structural phase transitions or the fundamental instabilities at the origin of the distorted phases.