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

M. I. McMahon, E. Gregoryanz, L. F. Lundegaard, I. Loa, C. Guillaume, R. J. Nelmes, A. K. Kleppe, M. Amboage, H. Wilhelm, A. P. Jephcoat

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72 Citations (Scopus)


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 cI16 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.

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


  • Alkali metals
  • Crystal structure
  • High pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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