β-eucryptite (LiAlSiO4), a member of the family of lithium aluminum silicates, is known to undergo a reversible pressure-induced phase transformation at ~0.8 GPa to ε-eucryptite. This study correlates the results between two techniques, in situ diamond anvil cell–Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation experiments, to explore how doping (substituting Zn for Li) influences this pressure-induced phase transformation. Diamond anvil cell tests carried up to 3 GPa hydrostatic stress under Raman spectroscopy were compared with nanoindentation results, which provide a more localized, multiaxial stress state. The results indicate that the magnitude of hysteresis observed (difference between the pressures required for the forward and reverse transformation) is lower for Zn-doped β-eucryptite; however, the onset of the phase transformation is unchanged by doping with Zn. Furthermore, calculations of activation volume from nanoindentation experiments yield similar values (~0.1 nm3) for pure and Zn-doped β-eucryptite, suggesting that the nucleation event that establishes the onset of the phase transformation is the same for both materials.
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