Formation and Stability of Dense Methane-Hydrogen Compounds

Umbertoluca Ranieri, Lewis J. Conway, Mary-Ellen Donnelly, Huixin Hu, Mengnan Wang, Philip Dalladay-Simpson, Miriam Pena-Alvarez, Eugene Gregoryanz, Andreas Hermann, Ross T. Howie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Through a series of x-ray diffraction, optical spectroscopy diamond anvil cell experiments, combined with density functional theory calculations, we explore the dense CH4−H2 system. We find that pressures as low as 4.8 GPa can stabilize CH4(H2)2 and (CH4)2H2, with the latter exhibiting extreme hardening of the intramolecular vibrational mode of H2 units within the structure. On further compression, a unique structural composition, (CH4)3(H2)25, emerges. This novel structure holds a vast amount of molecular hydrogen and represents the first compound to surpass 50 wt % H2. These compounds, stabilized by nuclear quantum effects, persist over a broad pressure regime, exceeding 160 GPa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number215702
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022


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