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Structure and Metallicity of Phase v of Hydrogen

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  • Bartomeu Monserrat
  • Neil D. Drummond
  • Philip Dalladay-Simpson
  • Ross T. Howie
  • Pablo López Ríos
  • Eugene Gregoryanz
  • Chris J. Pickard
  • Richard J. Needs

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Original languageEnglish
Article number255701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018


A new phase V of hydrogen was recently claimed in experiments above 325 GPa and 300 K. Because of the extremely small sample size at such record pressures the measurements were limited to Raman spectroscopy. The experimental data on increase of pressure show decreasing Raman activity and darkening of the sample, which suggests band gap closure and impending molecular dissociation, but no definite conclusions could be reached. Furthermore, the available data are insufficient to determine the structure of phase V, which remains unknown. Introducing saddle-point ab initio random structure searching, we find several new structural candidates of hydrogen which could describe the observed properties of phase V. We investigate hydrogen metallization in the proposed candidate structures, and demonstrate that smaller band gaps are associated with longer bond lengths. We conclude that phase V is a stepping stone towards metallization.

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