Optical properties of dense lithium in electride phases by first-principles calculations

Zheng Yu, Hua Y. Geng, Y. Sun, Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The metal-semiconductor-metal transition in dense lithium is considered as an archetype of interplay between interstitial electron localization and delocalization induced by compression, which leads to exotic electride phases. In this work, the dynamic dielectric response and optical properties of the high-pressure electride phases of cI16, oC40 and oC24 in lithium spanning a wide pressure range from 40 to 200 GPa by first-principles calculations are reported. Both interband and intraband contribution to the dielectric function are deliberately treated with the linear response theory. One intraband and two interband plasmons in cI16 at 70 GPa induced by a structural distortion at 2.1, 4.1, and 7.7 eV are discovered, which make the reflectivity of this weak metallic phase abnormally lower than the insulating phase oC40 at the corresponding frequencies. More strikingly, oC24 as a reentrant metallic phase with higher conductivity becomes more transparent than oC40 in infrared and visible light range due to its unique electronic structure around Fermi surface. An intriguing reflectivity anisotropy in both oC40 and oC24 is predicted, with the former being strong enough for experimental detection within the spectrum up to 10 eV. The important role of interstitial localized electrons is highlighted, revealing diversity and rich physics in electrides.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3868
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


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