Cubic (space group: Fmm) iridium phosphide, Ir 2 P, has been synthesized at high pressure and high temperature. Angle-dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements on Ir 2 P powder using a diamond-anvil cell at room temperature and high pressures (up to 40.6 GPa) yielded a bulk modulus of B 0 = 306(6) GPa and its pressure derivative B 0 ′ = 6.4(5). Such a high bulk modulus attributed to the short and strongly covalent Ir-P bonds as revealed by first - principles calculations and three-dimensionally distributed [IrP 4 ] tetrahedron network. Indentation testing on a well-sintered polycrystalline sample yielded the hardness of 11.8(4) GPa. Relatively low shear modulus of ∼64 GPa from theoretical calculations suggests a complicated overall bonding in Ir 2 P with metallic, ionic, and covalent characteristics. In addition, a spin glass behavior is indicated by magnetic susceptibility measurements.
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