Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 3, February 2004
Page(s) 400 - 406
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 January 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (3) , pp. 400-406 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10087-1

Structure and stability of non-molecular nitrogen at ambient pressure

K. Nordlund1, A. Krasheninnikov1, N. Juslin1, J. Nord1 and K. Albe2

1  Accelerator Laboratory, University of Helsinki - P.O. Box 43, FIN-00014, Finland
2  Institut für Materialwissenschaft, TU Darmstadt Petersenstr. 23, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany

(Received 10 June 2003; accepted in final form 20 November 2003)

Non-molecular solid nitrogen, metastable even at zero pressure and low temperature, was recently manufactured by Eremets et al.  (Nature 411 (2001) 173) and investigated with respect to its pressure stability. In this study we present analytical potential molecular-dynamics simulations that allow reproducing all the stages of the experiment. The bonding structure and energetics of the N polymeric state obtained from the dynamical simulations are verified to be reasonable using a plane-wave ab initio method. We predict that the metastable low-pressure phase has predominantly 3-folded bonded atoms in a disordered configuration. The energy accumulated in the metastable phase is about 1 $\un{eV/atom}$.

81.05.Zx - New materials: theory, design, and fabrication.
61.43.Bn - Structural modeling: serial-addition models, computer simulation.

© EDP Sciences 2004