Critical Behavior in the Hydrogen Insulator-Metal Transition

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Science  27 Jul 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4967, pp. 391-393
DOI: 10.1126/science.249.4967.391


The vibrational Raman spectrum of solid hydrogen has been measured from 77 to 295 K in the vicinity of the recently observed insulator-metal transition and low-temperature phase transition at 150 gigapascals (1.5 megabars). The measurements provide evidence for a critical point in the pressure-temperature phase boundary of the low-temperature transition. The result suggests that below the critical temperature the insulator-metal transition changes from continuous to discontinuous, consistent with the general criteria originally proposed by Mott for metallization by band-gap closure. The effect of temperature on hydrogen metallization closely resembles that of the lower pressure insulator-metal transitions in doped V2O3 alloys.

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