Exotic bonding interactions and coexistence of chemically distinct periodic lattice distortions in the charge density wave compound TaTe2

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Valeri Petkov
  • Kamal Chapagain
  • Junjie Yang
  • Sarvjit Shastri
  • Yang Ren


Original languageEnglish
Article number024111
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


The superstructure of TaTe2 is examined by total high-energy x-ray scattering and large-scale structure modeling over a broad temperature range. At room temperature, it features double zigzag chains of Ta atoms exhibiting metallic bonding. The chains are sandwiched between planes of weakly interacting Te atoms. Below 170 K, the chains appear broken to "butterflylike" clusters and single zigzag chains of covalently bonded Te atoms emerge while Ta-Te interactions remain largely ionic. This is a rare example of a charge density wave compound stabilized by bonding that is a mix of covalent, ionic, and metallic character giving rise to chemically distinct periodic lattice distortions. We argue that the formation of periodic lattice distortions in the Te sublattice in addition to those in the Ta sublattice favors charge delocalization, which may explain the unusually diminished resistivity and increased magnetic susceptibility exhibited by the low-temperature charge density wave phase of TaTe2. The effect may be common for 5d transition metal chalcogenides containing Te because of the extended electronic orbitals of the constituent atoms.

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