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A spectroscopic study of the insulator-metal transition in liquid hydrogen and deuterium

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  • Shuqing Jiang
  • Nicholas Holtgrewe
  • Zachary M Geballe
  • Sergey S Lobanov
  • Mohammad F. Mahmood
  • Ryan Mcwilliams
  • Alexander F. Goncharov

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  • manuAdvSciUnmarked

    Accepted author manuscript, 4.59 MB, Word document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY)

Original languageEnglish
Article numberADVS1469
JournalAdvanced Science
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019


The insulator-to-metal transition in dense fluid hydrogen is an essential phenomenon in the study of gas giant planetary interiors and the physical and chemical behavior of highly compressed condensed matter. Using direct fast laser spectroscopy techniques to probe hydrogen and deuterium precompressed in a diamond anvil cell and laser heated on microsecond timescales, we observe an onset of metal-like reflectance in the visible spectral range at P>150 GPa and T3000 K. The reflectance increases rapidly with decreasing photon energy indicating free-electron metallic behavior with a plasma edge in the visible spectral range at high temperatures. The reflectance spectra also suggest much longer electronic collision time (>1 fs) than previously inferred, implying that metallic hydrogen at the conditions studied is not in the regime of saturated conductivity (Mott-Ioffe-Regel limit). The results confirm the existence of a semiconducting intermediate fluid hydrogen state en route to metallization.

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