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Physical Review B

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X-ray diffraction, Calorimetry, Crystal lattices -- Mathematical models, Fullerenes -- Properties, Organic superconductors


X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry of MxC60, with x∼1 and M=K, Rb, or Cs, reveal an unusual T-dependent phase sequence. A low-symmetry ground state is found, while the high-T limit is an ordered rocksalt structure in which only the octahedral sites are occupied. The unusual high-T stability of this ordered phase is attributed to the entropy of molecular orientational disorder and/or thermal disorder of the alkali-metal ions within the octahedral sites. Unique to KxC60 with x≥1.4, we find at intermediate temperatures an fcc site-disordered lattice gas phase with random occupancy of tetrahedral and octahedral sites, which is thus isostructural with superconducting K3C60.


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