Sterically active electron pairs in lead sulfide? An investigation of the electronic and vibrational properties of PbS in the transition region between the rock salt and the α-GeTe-type modifications.


Recently, we have investigated the energy landscape of PbS for many different pressures on the ab initio level by using Hartree-Fock and density functional theory to globally search for possible thermodynamically stable and metastable structures. The perhaps most fascinating observation was that besides the experimentally known modification exhibiting the rock salt structure a second minimum exists close-by on the landscape showing the low-temperature α-GeTe-type structure. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons for the existence of this metastable modification; in particular we address the question, whether the α-GeTe-type modification might be stabilized (and conversely the rock salt modification destabilized) by steric effects of the non-bonding electron pair.


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