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Enhanced Reactivity of Lithium and Copper at High Pressure

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3153
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number11
Early online date22 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018


High pressure can profoundly affect the electronic structure and reactivity, creating compounds between elements that do not react at ambient conditions. Lithium is known to react with gold and silver; however, no copper compounds are known to date. By compressing mixtures of the elements in diamond-anvil cells, compounds of lithium and copper have been synthesized and characterized by X-ray diffraction for the first time. Pressures as low as 1 GPa lead to the formation of a complex layered phase LiCu, displaying two-dimensional kagomé lattice layers of Cu atoms. With increasing pressure, the layered Cu-Cu bonding is replaced by linear chains of Cu atoms in the high-pressure phase Li2Cu. Here we show the powerful effects of even modest pressures on the reactivity of lithium, leading to structures of remarkable complexity and low-dimensional transition metal bonding.

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