First-principles based calculations predict graphene-like topological electronic properties in lithium at experimentally-achievable pressures.
Significance and Impact
The lightest metal under ambient conditions displays topological properties with high pressure, illustrating that pressure can be used more widely to alter topological properties in materials, even elemental solids.
- Lithium, closed-packed under standard conditions, adopts complex, lower coordinated structures with increasing pressure, with non-symmorphic symmetries and increasing p orbital character.
- These two effects give rise to well-isolated topological features that persist through a large pressure range above 80 GPa.