Transition Element-Like Chemistry for Potassium Under Pressure

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Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 95-97
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.95


At high pressure the alkali metals potassium, rubidium, and cesium transform to metals that have a d1 electron configuration, becoming transition metal-like. As a result, compounds were shown to form between potassium and the transition metal nickel. These results demonstrate that the chemical behavior of the alkali metals under pressure is very different from that under ambient conditions, where alkali metals and transition metals do not react because of large differences in size and electronic structure. They also have significant implications for the hypothesis that potassium is incorporated into Earth's core.

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