Looking for the elusive alpha tin phase

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The characteristics of metal alloys have always been considered crucial for the sound quality of organ pipes. Tin-rich materials were studied for conservation issues, like the so-called tin pest -a consequence of a tin crystal structure change. Tin pest is indeed an allotropic transformation of tin, from beta-phase (tetragonal structure) to alpha-phase (diamond-cubic structure). This phase transformation, spontaneous below 13.2 °C, is strongly accelerated by lower temperatures. Recently, we studied a wide set of tin-based...
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