We report the first experimental observation of a liquid-liquid phase transition in the monatomic liquid metal cerium, by means of in situ high-pressure high-temperature x-ray diffraction experiments. At 13 GPa, upon increasing temperature from 1550 to 1900 K high-density liquid transforms to a low-density liquid, with a density difference of 14%. Theoretic models based on ab initio calculations are built to investigate the observed phase behavior of the liquids at various pressures. The results suggest that the transition primarily originates from the delocalization of f electrons and is deemed to be of the first order that terminates at a critical point.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)