A New High-Pressure Form of Sulfur Derived from the Decomposition of S4N4

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Science  19 May 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4343, pp. 765-766
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4343.765


A new phase of sulfur is formed from S4N4 held at pressure-temperature conditions in the vicinity of the boundary representing the decomposition of S4N4 to fibrous sulfur, Sx. The new phase is gray-black, is persistently metastable at room conditions, and is insoluble in carbon disulfide. The phase is apparently formed from a stage of decomposition during which high-conductance transients are observed in in situ electrical experiments. The sulfur phase appears to form upon the release of the nitrogen from a sulfur-nitrogen chain that is produced from the scission of an S4N4 ring.