Densification of amorphous boron under pressure
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The densification mechanism of amorphous boron under pressure is investigated using a constant pressure ab initio technique and found to be associated with two consecutive amorphous-to-amorphous phase transformations. Amorphous boron gradually transforms into a high density amorphous phase, followed by a first order phase transformation into another high density amorphous state. The high density amorphous phases of boron are not quenchable to ambient pressure. Most quasimolecular B-12 icosahedra in the model are found to be stable at the highest the theoretical pressure of 280 GPa reached in the present work and thus the phase transformations are principally due to the re-structural arrangements in the parts of the model connecting B-12 icosahedra.