JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY, vol.100, no.9, pp.3903-3911, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
Based on constant pressure ab initio simulations, we propose, for the first time, two successive amorphous-to-amorphous phase transformations for TiO2. The first one is a gradual phase transformation from a low-density amorphous phase to a high-density amorphous phase, whereas the second one is a first-order phase transformation from the high-density amorphous phase to a very high-density amorphous phase. The low-density amorphous to high-density amorphous phase change is irreversible, whereas the high-density amorphous to very high-density amorphous phase transformation is reversible. The high-density amorphous and very high-density amorphous phases consist of differently coordinated configurations. The sevenfold and ninefold-coordinated arrangements formed in amorphous TiO2 under pressure are similar to the main building motif of the baddeleyite and cotunnite polymorphs of TiO2, respectively, while the eightfold-coordinated configuration is different from the local structure of the cubic TiO2 phase. The electronic structure calculations suggest that both dense amorphous phases present a semiconducting character with a band gap energy less than that of the original low-density amorphous phase.