Low-coordination phases of both crystalline and fluid states of alkali metals under extreme conditions of high and low densities, respectively
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Physics and chemistry of liquids. - London
, p. 698-700
University of Antwerp
After a brief summary of early work, involving the present authors, relating to low coordination phases of some alkalis in either dense crystalline states at high pressure (e.g. Li) or low density metallic fluids near criticality (Cs and Rb), contact is made with the very recent density functional study by Pickard and Needs (Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 146401 (2009)). Whereas these authors predict three- and four-fold coordination numbers for extremely high pressure crystalline phases of Li, we stress here the remarkable behaviour of the heavy alkali metallic fluids Cs and Rb along the liquid-vapour coexistence curve towards the critical point. Coordination numbers ∼8-10 near melting then reduce, as the density is lowered, to 2 at or near the critical point.