IMAGE: An illustration of potassium atoms present process modifications in elementary traits reminiscent of radius, power and electronegativity as they’re compressed by surrounding neon atoms
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Credit: Neuroncollective, Daniel Spacek, Pavel Travnicek

A research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has yielded new solutions to elementary questions in regards to the relationship between the dimensions of an atom and its different properties, reminiscent of electronegativity and power. The outcomes pave the best way for advances in future materials growth. For the primary time, it is now doable beneath sure situations to devise precise equations for such relationships.

“Knowledge of the size of atoms and their properties is vital for explaining chemical reactivity, structure and the properties of molecules and materials of all kinds. This is fundamental research that is necessary for us to make important advances,” explains Martin Rahm, the primary writer of the research and analysis chief from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.

The researchers behind the research, consisting of colleagues from the University of Parma, Italy, in addition to the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, have beforehand labored with quantum mechanical calculations to present how the properties of atoms change beneath excessive stress. These outcomes have been introduced in scientific articles within the Journal of the American Chemical Society and ChemPhysChem.

The new research, printed within the journal Chemical Science, constitutes the following step of their vital work, exploring the connection between the radius of an atom and its electronegativity – an important piece of chemical data that has been sought because the Fifties.

Establishing helpful new equations

By finding out how compression impacts particular person atoms, the researchers have been ready to derive a set of equations that specify how modifications in a single property – an atom’s dimension – might be translated and understood as modifications in different properties – the full power and the electronegativity of an atom. The derivation has been made for particular pressures, at which the atoms can take certainly one of two well-defined energies, two radii and two electronegativities.

“This equation can, for example, help to explain how an increase in an atom’s oxidation state also increases its electronegativity and vice versa, in the case of a decrease in oxidation state,” says Martin Rahm.

A key query for the science of unexplored supplies

One purpose of the research has been to assist determine new alternatives and prospects for the manufacturing of supplies beneath excessive stress. At the centre of the earth, the stress can attain tons of of gigapascals – and such situations are achievable in laboratory settings at the moment. Examples of areas the place stress is used at the moment embrace the synthesis of superconductors, supplies which might conduct electrical present with out resistance. But the researchers see many additional prospects forward.

“Pressure is a largely unexplored dimension within materials science, and the interest in new phenomena and material properties that can be realised using compression is growing,” says Martin Rahm.

Creating the database they themselves wished for

The large amounts of data that the researchers have computed through their work have now been summarised into a database, and made available as a user-friendly web application. This growth was sponsored by Chalmers Area of Advance Materials and made doable via a collaboration with the analysis group of Paul Erhart on the Department of Physics at Chalmers.

In the online software, customers can now simply discover what the periodic desk appears to be like like at completely different pressures. In the newest scientific publication, the researchers present an instance for a way this device can be utilized to present new perception into chemistry. The properties of iron and silicon – two widespread components discovered within the earth’s crust, mantle and core – are in contrast, revealing massive variations at completely different pressures.

“The database is something I have been missing for many years. Our hope is that it will prove to be a helpful tool, and be used by many different chemists and materials researchers who study and work with high pressures. We have already used it to guide theoretical searches for new transition metal fluorides,” says Martin Rahm.


Read the scientific article “Relating atomic energy, radius and electronegativity through compression” here.

The article was written by Martin Rahm, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Paul Erhart, Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, and Roberto Cammi, University of Parma.

For extra info, contact:

Martin Rahm

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

[email protected]

+46 31 772 3050

More about atoms and excessive pressures

At excessive pressures, atoms and molecules are squeezed nearer collectively, which impacts their digital construction. Among different issues, compression can lead to the formation of latest chemical bonds. Semiconductors and insulators can be changed into metals. In some instances, supplies fashioned beneath excessive pressures might retain their construction and properties when the stress returns to regular. A typical instance is diamond, which is fashioned from peculiar graphite beneath excessive stress.

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