"Crystallography of low Z material at ultrahigh pressure: Case study on solid hydrogen"

Cheng Ji: Bing Li, Wenjun Liu, Jesse S. Smith, Alexander Björling, Arnab Majumdar, Wei Luo, Rajeev Ahuja, Jinfu Shu, Junyue Wang, Stanislav Sinogeikin, Yue Meng, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Eran Greenberg, Ruqing Xu, Xianrong Huang, Yang Ding, Alexander Soldatov, Wenge Yang, Guoyin Shen, Wendy L. Mao, Ho-Kwang Mao; Matter and Radiation at Extremes, 04/28/20.

Additional Authors: Bing Li, Wenjun Liu, Jesse S. Smith, Alexander Björling, Arnab Majumdar, Wei Luo, Rajeev Ahuja, Jinfu Shu, Junyue Wang, Stanislav Sinogeikin, Yue Meng, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Eran Greenberg, Ruqing Xu, Xianrong Huang, Yang Ding, Alexander Soldatov, Wenge Yang, Guoyin Shen, Wendy L. Mao, Ho-Kwang Mao

Abstract:

Diamond anvil cell techniques have been improved to allow access to the multimegabar ultrahigh-pressure region for exploring novel phenomena in condensed matter. However, the only way to determine crystal structures of materials above 100 GPa, namely, X-ray diffraction (XRD), especially for low Z materials, remains nontrivial in the ultrahigh-pressure region, even with the availability of brilliant synchrotron X-ray sources. In this work, we perform a systematic study, choosing hydrogen (the lowest X-ray scatterer) as the subject, to understand how to better perform XRD measurements of low Z materials at multimegabar pressures. The techniques that we have developed have been proved to be effective in measuring the crystal structure of solid hydrogen up to 254 GPa at room temperature [C. Ji et al., Nature 573, 558–562 (2019)]. We present our discoveries and experiences with regard to several aspects of this work, namely, diamond anvil selection, sample configuration for ultrahigh-pressure XRD studies, XRD diagnostics for low Z materials, and related issues in data interpretation and pressure calibration. We believe that these methods can be readily extended to other low Z materials and can pave the way for studying the crystal structure of hydrogen at higher pressures, eventually testing structural models of metallic hydrogen.