Solid solubility of germanium in silver
The solid solubility of germanium in silver has been measured in the temperature range of 520 K to 913 K via measurements of density and of electrical conductivity of two near-eutectic Ag-Ge alloys. The atomic fraction of germanium in solid solution varied between 0.014 and 0.089 over the mentioned range of temperature and an extrapolated maximum solubility of 0.093 at the eutectic temperature of 924 K is found. For samples with spheroidized Ge-particles before the equilibrium heat treatments at low temperature for 24 or 48 h, thermodynamic equilibrium was supposedly not achieved at temperatures below 723 K. Much longer heat treatments (tens of days) on the significantly finer as-cast microstructure allowed to reach equilibrium probably down to 600 K. Independently of whether thermodynamic equilibrium was reached or not the electrical conductivity and the density measurements yielded good agreement typically within a few tenth of percent of atomic Ge-concentration in solid solution in alpha-Ag for a given temperature. The results are close to, yet consistently slightly lower than, the values given by Owen and Rowland on which the current assessment of the solvus in the Ag-Ge binary is based. More recent results by Filipponi and co-workers are clearly not in agreement with the data presented here. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.