Anomalous thermophysical properties and electride transition in fcc potassium

Long Zhao, Hongxiang Zong*, Xiangdong Ding*, Jun Sun, G. J. Ackland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alkali metals undergo an electride transition with excess electrons localized in interstices and acting as anionic interstitial quasi-atoms (ISQs). Less is known about the role of electride transition in changing their thermophysical properties. Here, taking potassium as an example, we investigated the thermodynamic and dynamic properties in the face-centered cubic (fcc) phase region where an electride transition occurs when increasing pressure. With the help of machine-learning-enhanced molecular dynamic simulations and density functional theory calculations, we show property anomalies over a wide pressure range of 10–20 GPa but no accompanying structural transformations. Furthermore, we find that these anomalies in solid potassium are stronger at lower temperatures due to the more electron-localized nature of ISQs. Our findings unveil the rich phenomena in electrides and could deepen our understanding on electride phase transition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104107
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2021


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