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Keywords:

  • one-dimensional structures;
  • charge density waves;
  • diffuse scattering

The real crystal structure of the (NbSe4)10/3I charge density wave (CDW) compound is studied by simulation of the X-ray diffuse scattering. The average structure of the low-temperature twinned phase is determined and the phase transition is attributed to the formation of a CDW. The diffuse streaking, present in X-ray diffraction patterns above and below the transition at T = 282 K, is shown to be a projection of diffuse concentric rings perpendicular to the c* direction. The simulated patterns, based on a mismatch model between infinite NbSe4 chains, correlated by I atoms, are in good accordance with the experimental patterns. In addition to the experiments, the electronic properties of the high- and the low-temperature phases are calculated with the extended Hückel tight-binding method. The Fermi surfaces of the average structures above and below the phase transition appear very similar. Their shapes support a nesting instability and a CDW formation. The weak incommensurate CDW satellites, present below the phase transition, are at 100 K properly described by a modulation wavevector q = [0.06 (1), 0, 0.55 (1)].