The quantum nature of the proton can crucially affect the structural and physical properties of hydrogen compounds. For example, in the high-pressure phases(1,2) of H2O, quantum proton fluctuations lead to symmetrization of the hydrogen bond and reduce the boundary between asymmetric and symmetric structures in the phase diagram by 30 gigapascals (ref. 3). Here we show that an analogous quantum symmetrization occurs in the recently discovered(4) sulfur hydride superconductor with a superconducting transition temperature T-c of 203 kelvin at 155 gigapascals-the highest T-c reported for any superconductor so far. Superconductivity occurs via the formation of a compound with chemical formula H3S (sulfur trihydride) with sulfur atoms arranged on a body-centred cubic lattice(5-9). If the hydrogen atoms are treated as classical particles, then for pressures greater than about 175 gigapascals they are predicted to sit exactly halfway between two sulfur atoms in a structure with Im (3) over barm symmetry. At lower pressures, the hydrogen atoms move to an off-centre position, forming a short H-S covalent bond and a longer H center dot center dot center dot S hydrogen bond in a structure with R3m symmetry(5-9). X-ray diffraction experiments confirm the H3S stoichiometry and the sulfur lattice sites, but were unable to discriminate between the two phases(10). Ab initio density-functional-theory calculations show that quantum nuclear motion lowers the symmetrization pressure by 72 gigapascals for H3S and by 60 gigapascals for D3S. Consequently, we predict that the Im (3) over barm phase dominates the pressure range within which the high T-c was measured. The observed pressure dependence of T-c is accurately reproduced in our calculations for the Im (3) over barm phase, but not for the R3m phase. Therefore, the quantum nature of the proton fundamentally changes the superconducting phase diagram of H3S.

Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system / Errea, Ion; Calandra, Matteo; Ickard, Chris J. P.; Nelson, Joseph R.; Needs, Richard J.; Li, Yinwei; Liu, Hanyu; Zhang, Yunwei; Ma, Yanming; Mauri, Francesco. - In: NATURE. - ISSN 0028-0836. - 532:7597(2016), pp. 81-84. [10.1038/nature17175]

Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system

MAURI, FRANCESCO
2016

Abstract

The quantum nature of the proton can crucially affect the structural and physical properties of hydrogen compounds. For example, in the high-pressure phases(1,2) of H2O, quantum proton fluctuations lead to symmetrization of the hydrogen bond and reduce the boundary between asymmetric and symmetric structures in the phase diagram by 30 gigapascals (ref. 3). Here we show that an analogous quantum symmetrization occurs in the recently discovered(4) sulfur hydride superconductor with a superconducting transition temperature T-c of 203 kelvin at 155 gigapascals-the highest T-c reported for any superconductor so far. Superconductivity occurs via the formation of a compound with chemical formula H3S (sulfur trihydride) with sulfur atoms arranged on a body-centred cubic lattice(5-9). If the hydrogen atoms are treated as classical particles, then for pressures greater than about 175 gigapascals they are predicted to sit exactly halfway between two sulfur atoms in a structure with Im (3) over barm symmetry. At lower pressures, the hydrogen atoms move to an off-centre position, forming a short H-S covalent bond and a longer H center dot center dot center dot S hydrogen bond in a structure with R3m symmetry(5-9). X-ray diffraction experiments confirm the H3S stoichiometry and the sulfur lattice sites, but were unable to discriminate between the two phases(10). Ab initio density-functional-theory calculations show that quantum nuclear motion lowers the symmetrization pressure by 72 gigapascals for H3S and by 60 gigapascals for D3S. Consequently, we predict that the Im (3) over barm phase dominates the pressure range within which the high T-c was measured. The observed pressure dependence of T-c is accurately reproduced in our calculations for the Im (3) over barm phase, but not for the R3m phase. Therefore, the quantum nature of the proton fundamentally changes the superconducting phase diagram of H3S.
2016
-
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system / Errea, Ion; Calandra, Matteo; Ickard, Chris J. P.; Nelson, Joseph R.; Needs, Richard J.; Li, Yinwei; Liu, Hanyu; Zhang, Yunwei; Ma, Yanming; Mauri, Francesco. - In: NATURE. - ISSN 0028-0836. - 532:7597(2016), pp. 81-84. [10.1038/nature17175]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/866400
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