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Structure of sodium above 100 GPa by single-crystal x-ray diffraction

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17297-17299
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2007


At pressures above a megabar (100 GPa), sodium crystallizes in a number of complex crystal structures with unusually low melting temperatures, reaching as low as 300 K at 118 GPa. We have utilized this unique behavior at extreme pressures to grow a single crystal of sodium at 108 GPa, and have investigated the complex crystal structure at this pressure using high-intensity x-rays from the new Diamond synchrotron source, in combination with a pressure cell with wide angular apertures. We confirm that, at 108 GPa, sodium is isostructural with the c/16 phase of lithium, and we have refined the full crystal structure of this phase. The results demonstrate the extension of single-crystal structure refinement beyond 100 GPa and raise the prospect of successfully determining the structures of yet more complex phases reported in sodium and other elements at extreme pressures.

    Research areas

  • alkali metals, crystal structure, high pressure, HIGH-PRESSURE PHASES, ALKALI-METALS, CONSTITUTION, COMPRESSIBILITIES

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