Prediction of a Supersolid Phase in High-Pressure Deuterium

Chang Woo Myung, Barak Hirshberg, Michele Parrinello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Supersolid is a mysterious and puzzling state of matter whose possible existence has stirred a vigorous debate among physicists for over 60 years. Its elusive nature stems from the coexistence of two seemingly contradicting properties, long-range order and superfluidity. We report computational evidence of a supersolid phase of deuterium under high pressure (Formula Presented) and low temperature (Formula Presented). In our simulations, that are based on bosonic path integral molecular dynamics, we observe a highly concerted exchange of atoms while the system preserves its crystalline order. The exchange processes are favored by the soft core interactions between deuterium atoms that form a densely packed metallic solid. At the zero temperature limit, Bose-Einstein condensation is observed as the permutation probability of Formula Presented deuterium atoms approaches Formula Presented with a finite superfluid fraction. Our study provides concrete evidence for the existence of a supersolid phase in high-pressure deuterium and could provide insights on the future investigation of supersolid phases in real materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2022


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