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Ultrahigh-pressure isostructural electronic transitions in hydrogen
Ctr High Pressure Sci & Technol Adv Res, Beijing, Peoples R China;Carnegie Inst Sci, Geophys Lab, High Pressure Collaborat Access Team, Argonne, IL USA.
Ctr High Pressure Sci & Technol Adv Res, Beijing, Peoples R China;Florida Int Univ, Ctr Study Matter Extreme Condit, Miami, FL 33199 USA;Florida Int Univ, Dept Mech & Mat Engn, Miami, FL 33199 USA.
Argonne Natl Lab, Adv Photon Source, Argonne, IL 60439 USA.
Carnegie Inst Sci, Geophys Lab, High Pressure Collaborat Access Team, Argonne, IL USA;Argonne Natl Lab, Xray Sci Div, HPCAT, Lemont, IL USA.
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2019 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 573, no 7775, p. 558-562Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High-pressure transitions are thought to modify hydrogen molecules to a molecular metallic solid and finally to an atomic metal(1), which is predicted to have exotic physical properties and the topology of a two-component (electron and proton) superconducting superfluid condensate(2,3). Therefore, understanding such transitions remains an important objective in condensed matter physics(4,5). However, measurements of the crystal structure of solid hydrogen, which provides crucial information about the metallization of hydrogen under compression, are lacking for most high-pressure phases, owing to the considerable technical challenges involved in X-ray and neutron diffraction measurements under extreme conditions. Here we present a single-crystal X-ray diffraction study of solid hydrogen at pressures of up to 254 gigapascals that reveals the crystallographic nature of the transitions from phase I to phases III and IV. Under compression, hydrogen molecules remain in the hexagonal close-packed (hcp) crystal lattice structure, accompanied by a monotonic increase in anisotropy. In addition, the pressure-dependent decrease of the unit cell volume exhibits a slope change when entering phase IV, suggesting a second-order isostructural phase transition. Our results indicate that the precursor to the exotic two-component atomic hydrogen may consist of electronic transitions caused by a highly distorted hcp Brillouin zone and molecular-symmetry breaking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 573, no 7775, p. 558-562
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics Materials Chemistry
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395792DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1565-9ISI: 000488247600053PubMedID: 31554980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-395792DiVA, id: diva2:1365747
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilCarl Tryggers foundation Available from: 2019-10-25 Created: 2019-10-25 Last updated: 2019-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Majumdar, ArnabLuo, WeiAhuja, Rajeev

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