Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing Synchrotron Radiat Facil, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
First-principles calculations based on density functional theory were used to study the high-pressure phases of both ZnF2 and CdF2. We found that the sequence of the pressure-induced phase transitions is: Rutile (P42/mnm) --> CaCl2(Pnnm) --> PdF2 (Pa-3) and CaF2 ( Fm3m) --> PbCl2 ( Pnma) --> Ni2In (P6(3)/ mmc) for ZnF2 and CdF2 respectively. In ZnF2 the behavior of the ground-state total energy, of the Gibbs free energy and of the lattice constant vs. pressure shown that the phase transition at 4 GPa from the rutile-type phase to the CaCl2-type phase is a second-order phase transition. The mechanism of the structural change was also revealed by the transition from the PbCl2-type phase to the Ni2In-type phase in CdF2. Moreover, the high-pressure behavior of divalent metal fluorides was compared and discussed.