Emergence of the 8th phase of solid oxygen
Novel phase of solid oxygen discovered in ultrahigh magnetic fields
Institute for Solid State Physics
In the present work, Associate Professor Yasuhiro H. Matsuda in the Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP), the University of Tokyo and Ph.D student Toshihiro Nomura at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, have discovered a novel phase of solid oxygen by applying an extraordinarily strong magnetic field of up to 193 Tesla, in collaboration with Professor Tatsuo C. Kobayashi, Okayama University and other researchers.
Oxygen becomes solid at low temperatures and under high pressures, and so far seven different solid phases have been discovered. The crystal structure of the solid oxygen is known to be deeply related to its magnetic properties, but it was not known how the characteristics of oxygen were affected by strong magnetic fields. In this research, magnetization and magneto-transmission measurements were performed in ultrahigh fields using a destructive single-turn coil technique. The ultrahigh magnetic field of up to 193 T was able to bring about a phase-change in solid oxygen. The discovered novel phase is the eighth phase of solid oxygen and has a different geometry of O2 molecules from the other seven phases, possessing a cubic crystal structure with a high degree of symmetry, and is thought to be weakly ferromagnetic.
This finding is an important addition to our understanding of oxygen, a vital and familiar element. It will also play an important role in increasing our understanding of the effect of magnetic fields on the functionality of oxygen.
The results of the present work were published in Physical Review Letters on June 16th. The paper was selected as Editors’ Suggestion and introduced in Viewpoint article of Physics on June 16th.
Press release [PDF] (Japanese)
T. Nomura, Y.?H. Matsuda, S. Takeyama, A. Matsuo, K. Kindo, J.?L. Her, and T.?C. Kobayashi,
“Novel Phase of Solid Oxygen Induced by Ultrahigh Magnetic Fields”,
Physical Review Letters Online Edition: 2014/6/16, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.247201.
Article link (Publication, Viewpoint article [Full text PDF available]）