Letter | Published:

The most incompressible metal osmium at static pressures above 750 gigapascals

Nature volume 525, pages 226229 (10 September 2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Metallic osmium (Os) is one of the most exceptional elemental materials, having, at ambient pressure, the highest known density and one of the highest cohesive energies and melting temperatures1. It is also very incompressible2,3,4, but its high-pressure behaviour is not well understood because it has been studied2,3,4,5,6 so far only at pressures below 75 gigapascals. Here we report powder X-ray diffraction measurements on Os at multi-megabar pressures using both conventional and double-stage diamond anvil cells7, with accurate pressure determination ensured by first obtaining self-consistent equations of state of gold, platinum, and tungsten in static experiments up to 500 gigapascals. These measurements allow us to show that Os retains its hexagonal close-packed structure upon compression to over 770 gigapascals. But although its molar volume monotonically decreases with pressure, the unit cell parameter ratio of Os exhibits anomalies at approximately 150 gigapascals and 440 gigapascals. Dynamical mean-field theory calculations suggest that the former anomaly is a signature of the topological change of the Fermi surface for valence electrons. However, the anomaly at 440 gigapascals might be related to an electronic transition associated with pressure-induced interactions between core electrons. The ability to affect the core electrons under static high-pressure experimental conditions, even for incompressible metals such as Os, opens up opportunities to search for new states of matter under extreme compression.

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Acknowledgements

L.D. and N.D. acknowledge financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. N.D. thanks the DFG for funding through the Heisenberg Program and the DFG project number DU 954-8/1, and the BMBF for grant number 5K13WC3 (Verbundprojekt O5K2013, Teilprojekt 2, PT-DESY). M.E., Q.F., and I.A.A. acknowledge support from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research programme SRL grant numbers 10-0026, the Swedish Research Council (VR) grant numbers 621-2011- 4426, the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area Grant Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC), and in Materials Science “Advanced Functional Materials” (AFM). The work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (grant number 14.Y26.31.0005). The simulations were carried out using supercomputer resources provided by the Swedish national infrastructure for computing (SNIC). M.I.K. acknowledges financial support from the ERC Advanced grant number 338957 FEMTO/NANO and from NWO via a Spinoza Prize. Portions of this work were performed at GeoSoilEnviroCARS (Sector 13), Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory. GeoSoilEnviroCARS is supported by the National Science Foundation - Earth Sciences (EAR-1128799) and Department of Energy - GeoSciences (DE-FG02-94ER14466). This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under contract number DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Author information

Author notes

    • L. Dubrovinsky
    •  & N. Dubrovinskaia

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry and Geophysics, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany

    • L. Dubrovinsky
    •  & E. Bykova
  2. Laboratory of Crystallography, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany

    • N. Dubrovinskaia
    • , E. Bykova
    •  & M. Bykov
  3. Center for Advanced Radiation Sources, University of Chicago, Illinois 60437 Argonne, USA

    • V. Prakapenka
    •  & C. Prescher
  4. Photon Sciences, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), D-22603 Hamburg, Germany

    • K. Glazyrin
    •  & H.-P. Liermann
  5. European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, BP 220, Grenoble F-38043, France

    • M. Hanfland
  6. Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC), Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden

    • M. Ekholm
    • , Q. Feng
    •  & L. V. Pourovskii
  7. Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden

    • M. Ekholm
    • , Q. Feng
    •  & I. A. Abrikosov
  8. Centre de Physique Théorique, CNRS, École Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France

    • L. V. Pourovskii
  9. Radboud University, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands

    • M. I. Katsnelson
  10. Department of Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, Ural Federal University, Mira street 19, Ekaterinburg, 620002, Russia

    • M. I. Katsnelson
  11. Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 USA

    • J. M. Wills
  12. Materials Modeling and Development Laboratory, National University of Science and Technology ‘MISIS’, 119049 Moscow, Russia

    • I. A. Abrikosov

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Contributions

L.D., N.D., E.B., M.B., V.P., C.P., K.G., H.-P.L., and M. H. conducted the experiments. L.D. and N.D. processed the experimental data. M.E., Q.F., L.V.P., M.I.K., J.M.W., and I.A.A. performed the theoretical analysis. The manuscript was written by L.D. and I.A.A. with contributions from all other authors. All the authors commented on drafts and have approved the final version of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to L. Dubrovinsky or I. A. Abrikosov.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14681

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