Crystal structure of simple metals at high pressures

Olga Degtyareva

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


The effects of pressure on the crystal structure of simple (or sp-) elements are analysed in terms of changes in coordination number, packing density, and interatomic distances, and general rules are established. In the polyvalent elements from groups 14-17, the covalently bonded structures tend to transform to metallic phases with a gradual increase in coordination number and packing density, a behaviour normally expected under pressure. Group 1 and 2 metallic elements, however, show a reverse trend towards structures with low packing density due to intricate changes in their electronic structure. Complex crystal structures such as host-guest and incommensurately modulated structures found in these elements are given special attention in this review in an attempt to determine their role in the observed phase-transition sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-371
Number of pages29
JournalHigh Pressure Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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