According to fuelcellworks website, the latest advances of scientists at Carnegie Institution have made hydrogen detection under unprecedented pressure a reality. Their work is published in the Journal Physical Review Letters.
As the most abundant element in the universe, how does hydrogen respond to extreme temperatures and pressures? This has become one of the major challenges in modern physics. At present, there are three solid phases in hydrogen molecules. For example, the phase transformation of hydrogen at 150 GPa and low temperature has attracted special attention of academia. However, the detection of hydrogen at higher pressure by static compression technology has met technical bottlenecks before. To this end, scientists use the latest technology to pressurize hydrogen to 300 Gpa, and use infrared spectroscopy to detect the chemical bonds and electronic properties of hydrogen molecules in the temperature range from 12 K to room temperature. They completed the experiment using the National Synchrotron Radiation Source (NSLS) operated by the Carnegie Institution and facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The team found that the hydrogen molecule state was stable at this very high pressure, demonstrating the strong stability of chemical bonds between atoms. This work refutes the experimental interpretation of "hydrogen metallization" given by other scholars last year. Although the semi-metallic behavior of the dense-packed molecular phase has been found in the latest research results, the electronic conductivity of the material is much lower than that of the metal.
At the same time, according to another paper published by the University of Edinburgh in the Journal Physical Review Letters, another hydrogen molecule phase with a honeycomb structure of six ring was found at 300 K relative high temperature and pressure higher than 220 GPa, which is very similar to the carbon atom layer structure of graphite.